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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Friday, May 14, 2021

Dear Neighbors,

Governor Walz ended the statewide mask mandate today after the CDC announced vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks indoors or outdoors.

This is another important step in the right direction as we get back to normal.

It appears once again that there is little chance that we finish our work before the May 17th adjournment date. This year’s delay is due to two things in particular: Republicans' refusal to acquiesce to Democrat's demand for significant tax increases when the state has a $4 billion-plus budget surplus and Governor Walz’s continued insistence on keeping his emergency powers.

With such a significant budget surplus, it makes zero sense to raise taxes. In fact, instead of getting serious about leading, Democrats are spending their time on bills that have zero chance of becoming law like last night’s marijuana legalization bill. We should be working to fully exempt Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and unemployment benefits from state taxes instead of legalizing pot.

Because of Democrats’ refusal to compromise, we are looking at the least productive session in more than 30 years. It’s time to drop the charade and get real about reaching an agreement.

As for the peacetime emergency, Governor Walz still refuses to set aside his powers. If he has emergency powers, the governor has complete authority over how the state spends its allocation of federal COVID relief dollars.

This week we found out that he has already been spending some of these federal dollars on wasteful things like:

  • Nearly $100,000 to a non-profit which specializes in providing abortion doulas. 
  • $12,500 payment to a radio station to broadcast the Governor’s press conferences.
  • $275/hour contract with a New York public relations company.
  • $50,000 to a non-profit to establish talking circles, complete with $20 gift cards to incentivize participation.
  • Nearly $20,000 to a non-profit to recruit volunteers to put together “wellness bundles” including tea and non-traditional health supplements.

This sort of wasteful spending underscores the importance of making sure that the legislature has necessary oversight in how these federal dollars are spent.

Stay tuned as I will send out an update after session adjourns for the year.

Staying in Touch

Please do not hesitate to contact me to share your thoughts and concerns regarding state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at

God bless,