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

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

Back to profile

Minnesotans will suffer the impacts of Democrats' sharp increases in taxes, spending

Wednesday, May 24, 2023


ST. PAUL – The 2023 legislative session concluded Monday and Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, said it will be most remembered for a Democrat trifecta increasing state spending by more than 40 percent while raising taxes by $10 billion despite a $17.5 billion state surplus.

Swedzinski said the new two-year state budget will increase spending from $52 billion to $72 billion. Tax hikes include raising the state’s gas tax by 3.5 cents per gallon and tying it to inflation, increasing license tab fees, adding a 50-cent delivery tax, a new payroll tax that will hit employers and employees alike, and more.

“With Biden inflation hurting families, Democrats in St. Paul doubled down on increasing costs not because of federal policy, but to expand big St. Paul programs across the board,” Swedzinski said. “Family budgets have been shrinking, but the Democrat trifecta in Minnesota is ballooning our state budget by almost 50 percent. Metro-centric Democrats are making promises they can’t keep by building a state budget that is unsustainable and we’re all going to suffer for it, especially out here in Greater Minnesota. Democrats are even making our state’s energy grid more unreliable, unaffordable and dangerous with ill-advised policies.”

Meanwhile, Swedzinski said Democrats failed to provide a full elimination of the state’s Social Security tax despite nearly universal support for that move. And, after Gov. Tim Walz began the session by supporting $2,000 surplus rebates for joint filers, Swedzinski said Democrats ultimately approved just a fraction of that amount – $260 per person, or $520 per couple.

Aside from state finances, Swedzinski indicated Democrats enacted several highly controversial, partisan policy measures. He said this includes adopting some of the world’s most extreme abortion policy, enacting a state-funded speech registry that could undermine First Amendment rights, declaring Minnesota a sanctuary state for transgender healthcare – for children and adopting gun-control laws Swedzinski indicated will do more to burden law-abiding citizens than thwart violent criminals.

Swedzinski also said a Democrat provision will end electronic pull tabs as we know them, dealing a major blow to local charitable organizations.

“They are making people dependent on our government for survival,” Swedzinski said. “Democrats are crippling charitable organizations and leaving people to have to rely more and more on government programs. This is clearly a case of catering to political allies, putting political favors ahead of what’s best for the vast majority of Minnesotans. We could have guessed Democrats would look to raise taxes and increase spending, but it’s these other things nobody talked about and hardly anybody wants that is really alarming and shows this trifecta is catering to special-interest activists at all cost.”

Swedzinski said he is pleased legislative Republicans scored a big win for nursing homes by successfully negotiating $300 million more than had Democrats proposed providing them. He said this added funding will help that industry at a time nursing homes have been forced to close and families have been left scrambling to find care for their loved ones.

And, Swedzinski noted, the Merit Center in Marshall received a $2.25 million capital investment appropriation in the final hours of the session.