St. Paul – Today, Governor Tim Walz and leaders of the Minnesota Legislature announced an end-of-session deal that would spend billions of taxpayer dollars.
In short, the framework of the deal includes billions in new government spending:
- $1 billion for education
- $1 billion for health and human services programs
- $450 million for public safety
- $1.5 billion for “additional investments”
- $1.4 billion for capital investment projects
Furthermore, the deal includes a $4 billion tax bill that may contain a combination of tax cuts and new spending. The details are still being negotiated.
“This is a terrible deal that needlessly spends your tax dollars,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa). “In 2021, we passed a two-year budget that fully funded every facet of state government through June of 2023. There is no reason to spend one more dime of taxpayer money. This year was supposed to be about policy, not our budget. However, spend-happy politicians are addicted to wasting your money so they can look busy and feel good.”
Currently, Minnesota has a projected budget surplus of $9.2 billion. The members of the New House Republican Caucus previously proposed sweeping tax cut legislation that would have returned all $9.2 billion to the people of Minnesota.
“Minnesotans are demanding Voter ID and want us to eliminate unmanned ballot drop-boxes and the governor’s “emergency” power to unilaterally write law,” said Rep. Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal). “In a policy year, these essential proposals should have been passed before any new spending. Instead, Republicans will now be faced with blowing the taxpayer's surplus while ignoring the priorities of our voters.”
If passed into law, this spending deal would gradually eliminate the remainder of the budget surplus. As a result, the surplus would essentially be gone when it is time to craft the next two-year state budget in 2023.
“Governor Walz should not be involved in these legislative negotiations at all,” said Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg). “The Minnesota Legislature is responsible to work out the details of our state policy and state budgeting. When the Minnesota House and Minnesota Senate invite the governor into these negotiations, they cede authority and power to the governor. That is not how our system is designed to work. Legislative bodies write the law, not the governor.”
Rep. Cal Bahr (R-East Bethel) concluded, “Once again we see more proof that Minnesota has a broken legislative process. Both the House and Senate passed supplemental spending bills over the last few months. Bills from both chambers then go to conference committee where the differences are worked out. Instead of sending the agreed upon pieces to the governor and the disagreed parts to voters in November, the Triumvirate is forwarding a multibillion-dollar deal that violates the single-subject rule of our constitution. The legislative process is broken. Our current process is wasteful, inexact, and unaccountable.”
Rep. Steve Drazkowski (Republican-Mazeppa), Rep. Tim Miller (Republican-Prinsburg), Rep. Cal Bahr (Republican-East Bethel), and Rep. Jeremy Munson (Republican-Lake Crystal) are members of the New House Republican Caucus.