Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It was a soggy weekend with the on-again / off-again rain the last several days. The one consolation is April showers bring May flowers, right?
The MN Legislature must adjourn exactly three weeks from today per the Constitution and there is still much that must get done. Among my top priorities is dealing with the multi-billion projected budget surplus by enacting deep, permanent tax cuts.
Above and below: Rep. Lucero speaking to a large crowd Saturday at Albertville City Hall. "It was an honor being invited to Dr. Dan McDonald's Vaccine Safety Workshop Saturday at Albertville City Hall," Lucero said. "It was a large turn out and I highlighted several of the medical freedom and informed consent bills I've chief authored and am fighting for at the MN Capitol!"
DEMOCRATS’ PUBLIC SAFETY BILL
We were in session until past 11 PM last Friday evening debating the Democrat’s public safety supplemental funding bill. The DFL’s misplaced priorities are incredibly frustrating because the Democrat bill offers zero surety of additional resources or spending on law enforcement.
As a member of the House Public Safety Committee, I’ve been very vocal in my support of the professional law enforcement officers against unjustified attacks. The Democrat efforts to defund and dismantle the police have only resulted in emboldening criminals, dramatic rise in car jackings and catalytic converter thefts, and skyrocketing shootings and murders in Minneapolis not seen in years. In fact, tragically, the 31st homicide occurred in Minneapolis at the very time we were debating Democrat bill on the House Floor.
Rather than prioritize keeping Minnesotans safe, the Democrat bill continues the House majority’s efforts to drive peace officers out of the profession. Following the riots in Minneapolis in 2020 and the subsequent Democrat efforts to defund and abolish the police, nearly 200 Minneapolis police officers sought disability retirement. The Democrat’s anti-police rhetoric hasn’t just impacted Minneapolis but has had far-reaching negative consequences across Minnesota. There is currently a 10% vacancy rate statewide in the profession and law enforcement agencies are unable to get the number of new recruits they need to fill the vacancies.
Public safety should not be controversial because everybody is harmed by crime. It is absolutely beyond me how Democrats think there is a victory in not supporting law enforcement.
We debated the Democrat K-12 education supplemental funding bill on the House Floor Wednesday last week. As our community is well aware, the state’s per pupil funding formula is broken and unfortunately the Democrat bill sought to continue ignoring the funding problem. In response, I offered a school aid equalization tax relief amendment to the bill.
The consequence of our community having less commercial and industrial developments and tax base than communities closer to the metro area is the tax burden to fund schools falls more heavily upon residential homeowners. My levy equalization amendment would have brought much needed property tax relief to homeowners and to help reduce the disparities in educational opportunities for students simply based upon where they live.
The Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose, Rockford, and Monticello School Districts are among the many school districts that receive significantly less per pupil funding than metro and suburban area schools. STMA for example ranks 325 out of 327 in per pupil funding among school districts statewide.
As a former educator myself, I'm a strong believer of ensuring the highest quality education for our children. Hardworking families are being crushed with high taxes and inflation and I’m incredibly frustrated the Democrat House majority opposed and defeated my amendment that would have worked to achieved greater education equality.
By a vote of 60 in favor of my amendment and 69 opposed the Democrat majority defeated my levy equalization amendment.
My remarks on the House Floor speaking to my amendment can be viewed at the following link here.
Rep. Lucero invited to Hinckley Saturday morning to meet with Pine County residents and give a one-hour presentation on election integrity. Rep. Lucero was co-plaintiff in the successful 2020 lawsuit defeating Secretary of State Steve Simon in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals for violating MN election law. Rep. Lucero is the chief author of the Articles of Impeachment against Secretary Simon and also against MN District Judge Sara Grewing.
I-94 ROAD WORK
Those traveling I-94 between Maple Grove and Clearwater the last several years have witnessed the $350 million roadwork occurring on I-94 to reduce congestion, improve safety, provide a smoother ride, grow economic development, and more. Road improvements completed thus far have included lane additions in both directions, the addition of the Dayton Parkway interchange, eliminating the eastbound I-94 bottleneck in Rogers, new overpass at Hwy 241 in Saint Michael, and a new I-94 eastbound entrance ramp at County Road 19 in Albertville.
Remaining work to be completed includes:
UNEMPLOYMENT TRUST FUND REPAYMENT
Legislation to repay Minnesota’s unemployment insurance trust fund deficit and reverse tax hikes employers in the state faced despite a $10 billion surplus has been enacted into law.
The package provides $2.7 billion to fully repay the trust fund which was depleted with more people out of work during the pandemic. The bill also includes $500 million in payments to frontline workers – approximately $750 per person – and $190 million is provided to Minnesota Management & Budget for continued COVID-19 expenses. Another measure allows just one legislative body to reject an expenditure instead of the current requirement for both bodies to object.
Senate Republicans approved a clean bill to rectify this issue in February, with broad, bipartisan support. House Democrats delayed action until late April, when they added more than $1 billion in other funding to the bill. This change complicated matters and delayed final approval, costing state taxpayers $50,000 in interest for every day the legislation languished.
Click here for a new FAQ page created by DEED to help employers make sure they are paying the appropriate UI tax amount following Friday’s approval of this legislation.
STAYING IN TOUCH
Each and every day I’m continuously humbled at the opportunity to represent and fight for the values and priorities of our great community!
Please contact me to share any issues, concerns, or feedback you have to assist me best represent you. The best way to reach me is by email at Rep.Eric.Lucero@House.MN or by phone at 651-296-1534.