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RELEASE: Backer: 2023 Legislative Session Comes to a Disappointing End

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

ST. PAUL, MN – The 2023 legislative session adjourned for the year late Monday night, bringing an end to one of the most extreme and partisan sessions in history. In total, the budget approved by Democrat majorities in the House and Senate and soon to be signed into law by Governor Walz grows overall government spending by nearly 40%, spends the entire $17.5 billion budget surplus, and imposes close to $10 billion in new taxes that will impact every Minnesotan.

“I came into this year thinking that Minnesota Democrats would be willing to work with us to make Minnesota a stronger place for folks living in the Twin Cities metro as well as in Greater Minnesota,” said Rep. Jeff Backer, R-Browns Valley. “Instead, Democrats pursued a radical, my-way-or-the-highway approach to governing that is going to set Minnesota back. Every Minnesotan will have to pay the price for Democrats’ out-of-control spending, billions in tax increases, and radical policies that further divide us.”

Details of the Democrat budget include:

  • The Largest Tax Increase in State History: Combining all of the tax increases passed this week democrats are costing Minnesotans almost $10 billion MORE per biennium on top of the $17.5 billion surplus.
  • Growing Government: Over 40% growth in state government spending, the largest increase in decades.
  • Increased Motor Vehicle Fees: Nearly doubling of the motor vehicle sales tax and increasing tab fees for all motorists.
  • Broken Promises on Social Security Taxes: Democrats refused to fully exempt all Minnesotans from state taxes on social security benefits despite their campaign promises last fall to do so.
  • Broken Promises on Rebate Checks: Last summer Governor Walz promised $2,000 rebate checks, but now that Democrats spent through the entire surplus and more that number is all the way down to $260.
  • Killing Local Charities: Changes to E-Pull Tabs will limit the ability of local charities to fundraise to support their missions in the community.
  • Crushing Mandates for Schools: Dozens of new mandates for schools will leave many school districts in worse financial shape despite Democrat claims that they are making “historic” investments in schools.
  • Attacks on the Second Amendment: Gun control bills that target law-abiding Minnesotans and not criminals were signed into law despite bipartisan opposition.

Backer continued, “This year presented lawmakers with a chance to provide significant tax relief for Minnesotans as they struggle with the impacts of soaring inflation, rising gas prices, expensive groceries, and more. Instead, Democrats chose to impose billions in new taxes that will impact every Minnesotan and make life more expensive for everyone. You deserved better.”