Dear Neighbors and Friends,
I hope that you are holding up fine during the cold and snow. While the legislature is fast at work with a new two-year budget to pass and consequential policy before us, I do my best to make sure that the communities and townships of Lakeville, Credit River, Elko New Market, Eureka, and New Market are well represented at the legislature. As difficult as it can seem, I am working to find common-sense solutions to the problems facing Minnesota.
On Tuesday, Governor Walz released his proposed two-year state budget.
In total, Governor Walz and Democrats are proposing to increase the budget to an astounding $65 billion. This would amount to a nearly 25% increase in spending when compared to the last budget that was approved in 2021. Government growth at levels approaching 25% is reckless, especially compared to the challenges facing family and private sector budgets.
Despite a $17.5 billion budget surplus, it’s shocking to me that Governor Walz is proposing billions in new taxes that will impact Minnesotans of all income levels. This includes a payroll tax, an increase in the metro area sales tax, a motor vehicle tax INCREASE, and more. This is completely out of touch considering the budget surplus. We should be looking to provide permanent tax cuts, not increasing the size and scope of government.
As many of you have shared, it is astounding that the complete repeal of the Social Security income tax is not in the Governor’s Budget proposal, and that he is limiting the amount of surplus that will be returned to you!
For more information on how taxes impact you and who pays taxes in Minnesota, I encourage you to look at the most recent tax incidence study published by the Department of Revenue. You can find the 2021 report here: https://bit.ly/3Je0M9S
Retired Officer Angela Borchardt testified in support of HF 506 today
My bill, House File 506, received its first hearing this morning in the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee. This is a bill that I carried last year that provides funding for first responders to receive equine-experiential mental health support to address PTSD and other traumas resulting from occupational challenges.
Providing real, tangible resources to first responders will help them cope with the stress and trauma that they experience while working to better serve our communities and neighborhoods—keeping us safe. I am proud of the help that some of our community members have already received and appreciate local organizations that have supported these programs.
I have worked with a local equine therapy organization located at Canterbury Park, Abijahs on the Backside, on this legislation and believe that it is a critical and necessary policy response to slow down the rate of retirements and exodus from law enforcement. Here is a short video on their work: https://bit.ly/404tyzN
Stay tuned for more information on this bill as it makes its way through the legislative process.
This week, it was announced that I have been appointed to two commissions by House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth.
The first is the Legislative Budget Office Oversight Commission. On this commission, I will review the work of the Legislative Budget Office (LBO), which provides fiscal cost information on new policy proposals, and make recommendations regarding the office's ability to fulfill its duties.
I was also appointed to serve on the Legislative Commission on Metropolitan Government. This commission monitors the Metropolitan Council's operating and capital budgets, work programs, and capital improvement programs. In our role, we are tasked with reviewing, and making recommendations to the Metropolitan Council and to the legislature.
Here I am with Principal Murphy, who was generous with his time to discuss life at Lakeville South
While there is a lot happening daily at the capitol, I still enjoy making time for visits in St. Paul and back in-district. I appreciate your trust and support to represent our shared values. We remain committed to advocating for you to make our state stronger and better by protecting our families, our freedoms, and our state’s future.