Omnibus finance bills have started to be voted on the House floor as we are getting closer to our May 17th adjournment date.
On Thursday, we considered both the Housing and Legacy bills.
The housing bill is problematic because it removes local control and increases mandates while doing nothing to address the factors that are making homeownership unaffordable for too many families.
Instead, we should be addressing the shortage of market-rate housing, the high cost of developing housing, and making it easier for Minnesotans to achieve the dream of owning their own home. It’s simply unacceptable that neighboring states can build homes for upwards of $50,000 less than Minnesota.
We also voted Thursday on the Legacy bill. The Legacy bill allocates funds that are collected by the state’s three-eighths of one percent sales tax that was approved by voters in 2008. These funds are constitutionally required to be spent via three separate funds: the outdoor heritage fund; the clean water fund; and the parks and trails fund.
I voted “no” on this bill because, while some of the projects were worthy of funding, many of them were not and it did not do enough to earn my support.
State Government Finance
Today, as I write this, the House is debating the State Government Finance bill. This legislation is another bill full of bad ideas from the House Democrat majority.
This bill increases government spending by nearly $40 million over the next two years.
While Minnesotans are struggling and doing their best to recover from harmful shutdowns in 2020, Democrats continue to grow the size of government. It is simply unconscionable that they refuse to ask state agencies to tighten their own belts.
Instead of shoveling more money to state bureaucrats and agencies, they should focus their efforts on making sure that Minnesotans and their families have the resources they need to recover from government mandated closures.
The bill also contains controversial election provisions—breaking decades long tradition that changes to elections must have bipartisan support.
For these reasons and more, I voted “no”.
Transportation Policy and Finance
The House is expected to debate and vote on the DFL’s Transportation Policy and Finance bill later this evening.
The bill spends over $6.9 billion, which is a 12% increase in funding, and raises over $1.6 billion in transportation-related taxes and fees in the next four years.
Among the taxes is an increase in the gas tax and increases to tab fees, registration, and the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax. These tax increase will hurt everyone, but especially low-income Minnesotans.
There are several other issues with policy included in the bill. Chief among these is a provision that provides driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants.
For these reasons and many more, I plan to vote “no” on this bill.
The taxes and fees in this bill are unnecessary at a time when Minnesota has a multi-billion-dollar budget surplus.
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,