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

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Legislative update

Friday, March 1, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

Greetings from the House. Here are some notes from another busy week in St. Paul:

State economic forecast

State officials issued a new economic forecast for Minnesota Thursday, with a looming $1.5 billion shortfall through 2027 overshadowing a $3.715 billion surplus for the current biennium.

House Democrats somehow turned a $17.5 billion surplus into a shortfall and a wave of broken promises almost overnight. They said they supported fully eliminating taxes on Social Security and providing $2000 rebate checks for Minnesotans, then turned around and instead went on a spending spree with a 40-percent increase to the state budget – increasing taxes by $10 billion in the process. This reckless approach is unaffordable, and we need more balance in St. Paul before our one-party control does any more damage to Minnesota.

The state is fully funded for the current two-year cycle, meaning no additional state spending is necessary this session. The new bottom line will guide legislators through supplemental fiscal considerations the rest of the 2024 session.

Gun-control bills

The House committee on public safety on Thursday conducted hearings for a pair of anti-Second Amendment bills authored by Democrats.

The bills are H.F. 601 – Her, arbitrary deadline for reporting for lost and stolen firearms; and H.F. 4300 – Becker-Finn, regarding firearm storage. Both proposals seem to do more to criminalize good-faith, law-abiding gun owners than to crack down on the repeat criminals and other true bad actors our courts continue putting back on the street.

Rep. Her’s bill puts the onus on the victim of a crime to file a report to law enforcement within the government’s definition of reasonable time – 48 hours. If you are the victim of a firearm theft, and the perpetrator of that crime commits another crime with your stolen weapon, the bill stipulates that you may be held responsible.

Rep. Becker-Finn’s bill requires a person to either store a firearm not in the person’s direct control in a safe or unloaded with a locking device. On the same day the DFL introduced this bill that makes it a crime if a law-abiding firearm owner does not unload a firearm and secure it with a locking device in the person’s home, the DFL also introduced a bill (HF4277) that repeals mandatory minimum sentences for violent crimes involving the possession or use of a firearm.

But these increased penalties come in a context where the actual perpetrators of such crimes are increasingly released back out onto the street under laws passed by Democrats in 2023 … and bills they continue pushing today. It is misguided to crack down on gun owners who honor our laws and act in good faith instead of going after the real criminals. I do not support that approach and will continue opposing these anti-Second Amendment bills.

I will be back with more from the House soon. Until then, please stay in touch.



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