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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Peggy Bennett (R)

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Legislative News from Rep. Peggy Bennett

Friday, April 5, 2024

Dear Friends,


Committee work remains in full swing in the Minnesota House. The majority of that activity right now is taking place in our finance committees. Soon committee work will come to a close and the bulk of our action will take place on the floor debating the majority’s omnibus bills. I will continue to keep you abreast of prominent committee work, and also notable bills that come to the floor for a vote.



House and Senate leadership and Governor Walz have come to an agreement to spend an additional $512 million on state funding this year. Last session, the majority spent the entirety of our nearly $18 billion budget surplus, raised taxes by $10 billion, and grew government agencies by roughly 40 percent. Minnesota is projected to spend a mammoth $70.5 billion this biennium - and that is all before this additional $512 million is added.


As I had mentioned at the start of session, it was my hope that the legislature would show fiscal wisdom and restraint this year, especially in light of the looming budget deficit we are facing next year. Unfortunately, the majority’s spending agreement, paired with the multitude of spending bills we have been hearing in committee, makes it clear that fiscal wisdom and restraint is not on the menu this year.


This spending proposal is reckless and irresponsible. It will push our state into further deficit. Except for very specific emergency type legislation, I will not be supporting additional general budget spending this year. Our massive state budget was set last year. We shouldn’t be adding to that budget without exceptional need. As an additional note, this is a bonding year - not a budget year!



On Thursday, the Minnesota House overwhelmingly approved comprehensive legislation dealing with veterans’ policy issues. This was a great bipartisan bill. Included was a provision I authored that will streamline the reporting process for Minnesota veterans' homes. The plan now heads to the Minnesota Senate for further debate.



You may recall from a previous update that, due to actions by the extreme Democrat-controlled Minneapolis City Council, Uber and Lyft ride-share services announced plans to leave Minneapolis, and possibly the entire Metro Area, by May 1st. Sadly, there have been no changes reported from the City of Minneapolis on this topic, nor has the legislature acted.


Losing Uber and Lyft is going to be a significant problem. This service is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity for many, including the disabled and elderly. This week, my Republican colleagues and I attempted to bring forward legislation for immediate consideration on the House floor that would remedy this problem. Sadly, the House majority would not consider it.


Unfortunately, this is a Democrat-created crisis. It seems pretty clear that, without legislative action, Uber and Lyft services will disappear in Minnesota.


Have a great weekend!