Here’s the latest news from St. Paul.
DFL Tax Increases
House Democrats have now assembled all of their omnibus bills, which contain a total of over $12 billion in tax increases over the next 4 years on Minnesotans. The tax bill itself contains over $4 billion in tax increases, and the rest are spread across the Transportation, Health and Human Services, and Jobs and Energy Omnibus bills. Notably, the DFL is attempting to increase taxes on gas, doctor visits, and small businesses, among many other things.
New OLA Report
Last week, the nonpartisan Office of the Legislative Auditor released their second report investigating fraud in the Childcare Assistance Program (CCAP). They found that the program controls at the Department of Human Services “are insufficient to effectively prevent, detect, and investigate fraud in Minnesota’s Child Care Assistance Program”. Even with these two reports confirming widespread fraud and very little being done to stop it, Democrats have refused to hold hearings on these reports, and have even blocked Republican efforts to bring in the Inspector General to testify before the committees charged with overseeing the CCAP program.
Health and Human Services Omnibus Bill
House Democrats introduced a Health and Human Services Omnibus bill that is over 100 pages longer than last year’s entire supplemental budget. The bill is about 1130 pages long, and includes many harmful new policies, including increasing fees that will drive up the cost of insulin and cutting funding to the state’s nursing homes by over $68 million. It also fails to extend the reinsurance program, which could cause insurance premium rates to skyrocket next year.
I’d like to wish you all a very happy Easter. I look forward to celebrating with family and friends, and I hope you are also able to enjoy your time with loved ones.
As always, if you need assistance on an issue pertaining to state government or have concerns or ideas about legislation, my office is available to you. You can e-mail at Rep.Marion.ONeill@House.MN or call my office at 651-296-5063. You can also write a letter to me. My office address at the Capitol is 357 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.