We have officially reached the halfway mark of the 2021 legislative session and it’s off to a historically unproductive start.
Through the first ten weeks of session, the House has passed just a handful of bills, close to the fewest at this point in session since at least 1995. While some may say this is a good thing considering the House Democrat majority has introduced several bills this year that would grow the size of government and limit personal liberty.
However, after a year of harmful shutdowns from Governor Walz, there are things the legislature should be doing to help Minnesotans and businesses that have been hurt.
To that end, House Republicans brought four bipartisan, commonsense bills to the House floor this week in the hopes that Democrats would join us in passing these bills. These include:
- The SAFE Account, which sets aside $35 million for mutual aid agreements for anticipated law enforcement response for the Chavin trial and other major public safety events. That bill has been stalled since the House DFL proposal failed twice weeks ago on the House floor. Some of their own members would not vote for the bill because it was so bad. We have put forward a compromise proposal that was endorsed by the Star Tribune Editorial Board.
- Exempting forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan income from state taxes. Currently, Minnesota is the only state in the upper Midwest that has yet to exempt forgiven PPP loan payments. Without action, businesses could owe hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in state income taxes simply for using the PPP funds as intended by the federal government. The Senate passed a PPP tax relief bill last week with a veto-proof majority on a 55-12 vote.
- Exempting $10,200 in Unemployment Insurance income, the same exempted by the federal government.
- Funding for schools to offer in-person summer school programming. This bill would utilize the expected funds coming in from the federal government to help defray cost of in-person summer school learning to help students catch up from a year of distance learning, along with funding for student mental health, as well as early learning scholarships.
Sadly, all four bills were voted down by the House Democrat majority. For whatever reason, they continue to be paralyzed and unable to do the work required of them. We need to get to work on these issues and not let them get caught up in end-of-session politics.
Simply put, workers, Main Street businesses, schools, and law enforcement cannot afford to wait. Our GOP members are ready to lead on these and more issues and invite our fellow DFL members to work with us for the benefit of all Minnesotans.
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,