The 2022 session is in the books after the Legislature adjourned earlier this week.
Before we get into more on that, I want to recognize the brave men and women of our military who died serving our nation as we pay tribute to them this Memorial Day weekend. May their legacies endure as we always remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for fellow Americans. Any number of programs will take place in our area over the weekend and I hope you are able to attend.
Also, just a quick reminder I will be co-hosting a town hall meeting in Frazee with Sen. Utke from 6 to 8 p.m. this Tuesday at the Frazee Event Center, 114 Lake St. N. Please call my office at (651) 296-9918 with any questions or for further details.
As for notes from the Capitol, 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.
House Democrats’ insistence on increasing government spending by billions of dollars derailed 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. Major tax relief should have been a slam dunk this session, but the majority 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. 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.
On public safety, liberal legislators 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.
Those who want to defund the police have caused gridlock on important measures to improve public safety. They keep pushing to put more money toward unproven and unaccountable non-profit groups instead of doing more to support local police departments.
Until next time, have a good Memorial Day weekend and hope to see you at next week’s town hall meeting.