Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe Schomacker (R)

Back to profile

Rep. Schomacker Legislative Update

Friday, January 27, 2023

Hello from St. Paul,


This week, a pair of proposals passed off the House floor. 



On Thursday, the Minnesota House majority approved a bill requiring electric utilities in the state to generate or acquire 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2040. 


I’m an advocate for renewable energy because it has improved so many lives in southwestern Minnesota. But when my utility providers tell me that the storage capacity isn't there yet, it’s clear the state shouldn't be setting this mandate at this time.


The goal of 100% carbon free energy is laudable. Without infrastructure behind it though, we risk higher rates for energy, grid failure which will lead to blackouts, and unsafe conditions when these blackouts occur. 



The House majority also approved a bill that requires inflation to be added to Minnesota’s state budget forecast.  Those forecasts are what the legislature must work from to balance the budget every two years.  


The bill's advocates make the point that this provides more accurate accounting of the size and need of state government. This was the practice of the state from 1991 to 2002. Opponents argued that it essentially sets state spending on autopilot and would restrict the legislature's ability to make budget decisions.


I opposed the proposal. Every two years the legislature should decide on taxes and spending. The bill did not even specify which inflation measure would be considered in the forecast. Instead, it provides for legislators to determine the inflation rate first. It's not how I get to run my business, it's not how families in Southwest Minnesota get to budget in their homes. It's not how we should run state government either.



You may recall in my last update I discussed how abortion issues are moving through the legislature. HF1 was recently debated for hours on the House floor. I supported amendments to the bill which would have kept a ban on partial birth abortion, an amendment to keep a ban on third trimester abortions and require abortion facilities to be licensed. Those amendments failed. In the end, the bill passed, even with bipartisan opposition. I voted against the proposal. The Senate is expected to take this bill up on Friday. If it passes, it'll go to the Governor who says he'll sign it.


Have a good weekend,