ST. PAUL – The Legislature adjourned Monday with priorities such as converting a massive state surplus to historic tax relief and improving public safety at a time violent crime is soaring unresolved.
State Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston, said House Democrats’ insistence on increasing government spending by billions of dollars bogged down tax relief. Senate Republicans proposed more than $8 billion in tax relief, while House Democrats were looking to spend $21 for every $1 in tax cuts.
“Minnesotans are suffering record price increases and the state has a massive surplus,” Green said. “Major tax relief should have been a slam dunk this session, but House Democrats would not give up on their push to increase government spending by 15 percent or more compared with the last budget, even though this is not a budget year and our state already is fully funded for the biennium.
“It is good we approved legislation to repay Minnesota’s unemployment insurance trust fund deficit and reverse tax hikes on employers in early May, eliminating one potentially significant consequence for inaction caused by House Democrats,” Green said. “As much as we need to deliver tax relief – starting with ending our state tax on Social Security – we may have to wait until January when a new Legislature returns to the Capitol. Let’s start looking at the year ahead with a real focus on how we can make life better for Minnesotans, with the long term in mind instead of settling for temporary relief.”
Green also said House Democrats refused to fund law enforcement and blocked increased penalties for criminals – including a bill that would crack down on fentanyl as our country deals with record-setting overdose deaths driven by this deadly drug.
“House Democrats who want to defund the police have caused gridlock on important measures to improve public safety,” Green said. “They keep pushing to put more money toward unproven and unaccountable non-profit groups instead of doing more to support local police departments.”