Last week, Minnesota Management and Budget released its annual February budget forecast showing a budget surplus of $1.5 billion.
The new figure is nearly $200 million more than what was initially projected back in early December. This is further proof that the economy continues to do well as the state takes in tax revenue at higher levels than expected.
As for myself, it’s clear that this surplus belongs to the Minnesotans.
That’s why I will continue to advocate for returning the surplus to hardworking Minnesotans through tax relief. I expect House Republicans to release a tax relief proposal sometime in the coming weeks that will emphasize giving Minnesotans the tax break they deserve.
Either way, I will be pushing for a tax relief bill bigger than the one we passed in 2017.
It’s time for tax relief.
Rural Finance Authority
A few weeks ago, I mentioned that the Rural Finance Authority (RFA) would be running out of funding—rendering them unable to extend low-interest loans to farmers.
On Thursday, the House approved legislation that restores the RFA’s funding. The bill passed with bipartisan support and I was pleased to vote “yes”.
The RFA is an important entity that helps farmers recover from natural disasters, and make critical equipment upgrades as they prepare for the coming growing season.
Farmers do an outstanding job paying back these loans on time.
Paid Family Leave
On Thursday, the House approved legislation that would establish a single-payer, government-run paid sick and family leave program.
Paid sick and family leave is a good thing and we should work to ensure that more Minnesotans have access to paid sick and family leave is a worthwhile goal and is something that more businesses should embrace.
However, the legislation that was approved this week is the wrong path forward.
The proposal establishes a state insurance bureaucracy funded with a brand-new employer and employee payroll tax that applies to all employees and independent contractors. This will result in millions of dollars of wages lost for hard-working Minnesotans.
Put more simply, this bill would take upwards of $2 billion directly out of the paychecks of anyone that earns a wage in Minnesota.
Further, the lessons we learned the last few years from the MNsure and MNLARS boondoggles have made crystal clear that the state simply does not do a good job creating large bureaucratic entities.
Staying in Touch
Please be sure to reach out to me to share any thoughts, questions, or concerns you have related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend,