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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Friday, April 14, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

The legislature has returned from its annual Easter/Passover break with just six weeks to go until final adjournment. Budget bills began to make their way to the House Floor for debates and votes on Wednesday. Kicking off omnibus bill season was the Legacy Bill and the Higher Education Bill.

For those of you who may not know, the Legacy bill appropriates revenue raised by a three-eighths of one percent sales tax that was approved by Minnesota voters in 2008. This revenue is distributed into four funds: Clear Water; Outdoor Heritage; Arts and Cultural Heritage; and Parks and Trails fund.

This year’s bill has been unusually controversial because of efforts to provide funding to Honor the Earth—a radical environmental group previously led by Winona LaDuke, to build a museum in Park Rapids. Honor the Earth was recently ordered by the courts to pay a $750,000 judgment to a former employee for covering up sexual harassment allegations. LaDuke resigned last week following the court’s ruling.

I’ve been outspoken in my opposition to this project. You can read more about this by clicking here:

While this version of the bill did not specifically provide funding for the project, it was written in a way that will make it very easy for Honor the Earth to apply for and receive the grant dollars.

During debate, I offered two amendments that were both accepted. The first prohibits Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund dollars from being awarded to an organization whose leadership has had a civil or criminal sexual assault/harassment judgment. The second prohibits funding from being used on projects that promote domestic terrorism or criminal activities.

Elections Bill 

On Thursday, House Democrats approved their omnibus elections bills. To be clear, this is the most partisan election bill in history and violates Minnesota’s longstanding tradition of requiring bipartisan support for election law changes.

The bill will regulate campaign speech, limit engagement in the political process, and threaten election integrity with automatic voter registration when you sign up for a driver’s license. Remember, earlier this year, Democrats approved a bill that allows undocumented immigrants to apply for and receive a driver’s license.

I am extremely concerned with this bill and am doing everything I can to oppose it.

Tax Increases on the Way

I’ve previously discussed my concerns about the Democrats’ plan to significantly increase overall government spending by 40% this year. In addition to dramatically increasing spending, they are also planning to raise your taxes.

This week in the House Taxes Committee, House Democrats brought forward a bill that would raise taxes by $2.2 billion. This is in addition to the $7.3 billion in tax increases that they have already proposed through transportation-related taxes, payroll taxes, massive fee increases for boat owners, those that use state parks, and hunting and fishing licenses.

It is simply ridiculous that they continue to push for higher taxes at a time when the state has a $17.5 billion budget surplus.

Staying in Touch

Please be sure to reach out to me to share your thoughts, concerns, and ideas. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4333 or via email at

God bless,