On Tuesday, Governor Walz announced details of his 2021-2022 budget proposal. As a reminder, lawmakers are constitutionally required to approve a two-year budget this session. The Governor’s budget proposal helps start the conversation and signals his priorities.
The Governor’s budget proposal is headlined by $1.7 billion in tax increases, major spending hikes, and almost no meaningful spending cuts.
More specifically, the Governor’s budget calls for a 10% hike to Minnesota's top tax bracket, a 15 percent hike to Minnesota's business tax, and regressive tax hikes on cigarettes and vaping products that disproportionately hit low-income Minnesotans. This comes on the heels of his proposal to implement the California Cars emission standards that will raise the price of vehicles.
The business tax rate that he is proposing would vault Minnesota to #2 in the entire nation. At a time when businesses are slowly starting to recover from harmful government-mandated shutdowns, it is unbelievable that Governor Walz would seek to further damage these businesses by raising their taxes.
Sadly, out of a massive $52.4 billion budget, Governor Walz is proposing just $150 million in budget reductions. That's not even a 0.3% reduction in spending — a shockingly small amount during a year where so many Minnesota families and businesses have seen their incomes fall off a cliff.
This budget proposal follows the same tired playbook of increased taxes and bigger government that only serves to take more hard-earned money out of the pockets of Minnesotans and businesses while infringing on personal liberties. Instead of growing government, we should balance the budget by reducing spending and streamlining government services.
Stay tuned for more on this as the legislative session continues.
This week, the Health and Human Services Finance Committee held a hearing to discuss Democrats’ MinnesotaCare buy-in scheme. The bill would be bad news for an individual health care market that has been under siege since Obamacare was passed in 2009.
This legislation entirely removes the current income eligibility threshold for MinnesotaCare, opens MinnesotaCare to undocumented immigrants, and directs the Department of Human Services to propose changes to MinnesotaCare including requiring all doctors to accept the program’s low reimbursement rates. This would put rural clinics and hospitals in danger of closing due to these low reimbursement rates.
Simply put, this bill would result in the middle class paying significantly more for insurance. Finally, it should be no surprise that there is not a single mention of how the state will pay for this bill that will easily cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year, especially if they plan to boost reimbursement rates above current levels.
Green New Deal Comes to Minnesota?
On Thursday, the Energy and Climate Committee heard Democrats’ 100% Renewable Energy 2040 mandate.
This bill, although well-intentioned, would raise energy rates on Minnesota families, reduce the reliability of our power grid, and continues to exclude key technologies like hydro and nuclear that should be part of our energy-producing portfolio.
I’ll make sure to keep you updated on this bill as it moves through the legislative process.
Staying in Touch
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share any thoughts or concerns you may have about state government or the job I'm doing as your representative. It would be great to talk with you. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-8237 or via email at email@example.com.
Have a great weekend,