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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Marion Rarick (R)

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Legislative Update

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Dear Neighbor,

Here’s the latest news from St. Paul.

Budget Negotiations

With budget negotiations ongoing here at the Capitol, things have been rather slow. Leadership from the GOP Senate, the DFL House, and the governor, met Sunday night. After the meeting ended, the governor accused Republicans of wanting to “blow up democracy” because they opposed raising taxes by $12 Billion at a time when the state has over a billion dollar budget surplus, and $573 million came into the state over the February forecast which is also not accounted for in the surplus. It is important to also take into account that our reserve accounts are in excess of $2 Billion. Now is not the time to ask taxpayers for more. Below, I’ve linked the video so you can hear the Governor’s comments for yourself.

The first offer the DFL made would take a paltry $200 million off of their total proposed spending of nearly $50 billion, with no reduction in their proposed tax increases. The Senate Republicans said that was unacceptable, offering to increase spending by $100 million for education and public safety, but rejecting any increase in taxes. The DFL then came back with an offer to reduce their gas tax increase from $.20 per gallon to $.16 per gallon, and maintaining the sick tax.

The Senate’s third offer came late Monday, offering a spending increase of $100 million, with no new taxes, and with some spending increases funded by the over $2.5 billion budget reserve. So far, the DFL has not responded.

Gas Tax

Despite the DFL talking points, the double-digit tax increase won’t be all new money for roads and bridges. Last biennium, the Republican House and Senate dedicated the sales tax on auto parts to roads and bridges, providing a huge increase in dedicated road and bridge funding. In their transportation bill, the DFL is removing that dedicated funding and shifting it to the general fund to be spent on other things, and filling that hole with $.07 of their gas tax proposal. They’re also increasing the Working Family Tax Credit to try to offset the cost of the gas tax for low income families, which will cost the equivalent of $.06 of the gas tax. So, even if they maintain their $.16 gas tax increase, only 3 cents of that will be new road and bridge funding. These shifts and gimmicks to make their small increase in road and bridge funding look better are deceptive.


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.