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

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Legislative Update from Rep. Josh Heintzeman

Monday, April 24, 2023

Dear Neighbors,

I’d like to start off this week’s newsletter by offering my sincere thanks and appreciation to all of you, the people I am so blessed to represent. This time of year is fast paced in St. Paul and the days are often long as we debate budget bills. Your words of encouragement and support mean the world to me. Here’s a brief recap of the week.

Environment and Energy Bill

As the Republican-lead of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee, I spend a great deal of my time in St. Paul on issues related to the outdoors and natural resources. On Monday, the House approved an Environment and Energy Budget Bill that will make life more expensive for Minnesotans by driving up energy costs, and raising fees for fishing, boating, and more at a time when we have a $17.5 billion budget surplus.

The bill also contains several anti-business provisions that will make it difficult for employers to expand and grow in Minnesota.

I recorded a brief video discussing this bill and I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch. Click here or the photo below.


Transportation Bill

On Wednesday, the House debated and approved the Transportation Budget Bill. I voted “NO”.

This bill raises about $3.5 billion in new taxes at a time when the state has a record-setting budget surplus. Again, there is no need whatsoever to raise billions in taxes when the state has a $17.5 billion budget surplus.

Here are some of the proposed taxes in the bill:

  • Metro Area Sales Tax Increase totaling more than $2 billion.
  • $513 million via a new “delivery” tax that would impact Amazon deliveries, DoorDash, Pizza shops, and everything in between.
  • $736 million in license tab fee increases.
  • $215 million via a Motor Vehicle Sales Tax increase.

The bill also would include $194 million in spending to pay for a passenger train to Duluth.

This bill, as much as any, really demonstrates Democrats misplaced priorities as they raise billions in taxes and spend hundreds of millions on projects that have little chance of succeeding.

State Government Finance and Policy Bill

This legislation, approved Tuesday night, doubles down on wasteful spending by significantly growing bureaucracy and the size of government overall. It raises spending by $1.5 billion on things like:

  • 341 new full-time state employees.
  • $17,000 a month of taxpayer-funded rent for Gov. Walz and his family.
  • 155% increase for the Governor’s office budget.
  • 67% for Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office budget.
  • 396% increase for the Humanities Center.
  • $5 million to redesign the state flag. This is more than what they allocate to fund rural nursing homes across their entire $72 billion budget.

Like the others, this bill was an easy “NO” vote.

Veterans Bill

On a more positive note, we approved the Veterans and Military Affairs Bill this week. The legislation passed with unanimous support on a 131-0 vote. This bill is about taking care of the brave men and women that have served our nation.

As always, it was encouraging to see such a strong show of bipartisan support for this bill. It goes to show you that despite our disagreements around several issues, we can still come together in support of our veterans.

Staying in Touch

More information next week as omnibus budget bills continue to make their way to the House Floor. Expect updates on the Public Safety Bill, Education Bill, Taxes Bill, and more.

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,