The pace has slowed in St. Paul as work has moved to conference committees where select members of the Senate and House of Representatives are meeting to reconcile differences between each legislative body’s omnibus budget and policy bills. With complete Democrat control of both the House and Senate, I do not expect these bills to change too much during conference committees. Once policy language and spending are agreed upon, each bill will be returned to the House for a final vote before being sent to Gov. Walz for his signature.
Remember, Democrats and Gov. Walz are looking to increase overall government spending by nearly 40%, are aiming to spend down the entire $17.5 billion budget surplus, and are looking to raise taxes by almost $10 billion.
MN FaMLI Plan
On Monday, the House approved Democrats’ legislation (House File 2) that creates a government-run, mandated paid family and medical leave program. This proposal will directly impact every worker and business in Minnesota, regardless of size.
Paid family and medical leave is widely supported by Minnesotans and for good reason. Every single person knows and understands the importance of being able to take time off of work to spend time with a newborn, care for a family member, or recover from illness. Making sure more Minnesota families have access to this type of benefit is a goal I share with all 201 legislators.
Unfortunately, the program established by House File 2 is not the right approach to deliver on this goal.
The Democrat proposal would cost billions of dollars to get up and running and require as many as 400 new full-time government employees to develop and administrate. It would be funded with a $2.9 billion tax on employers and employees—taking money directly out of your paycheck. It also does not include a cap on the payroll tax rate, so that number will certainly rise in the years to come as program shortfalls and losses inevitably arise. Finally, if you like your current benefits, too bad. The Democrat plan would automatically replace your benefits with the government-run program.
Hearing the concerns of Minnesota families and employers, House Republicans introduced our plan that would provide the same product to Minnesota workers without any of the taxes, mandates, or bureaucracy. Unfortunately, Democrats rejected our plan and decided to move forward with their one-size-fits-all mandate.
Our plan is workable, stable, compassionate, and flexible. Businesses would be incentivized to buy into the program via a small business tax credit and the program would be run and operated by an insurance company—meaning that losses and shortfalls would be covered by the company, not Minnesota taxpayers.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great day,