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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Nolan West (R)

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Rep. West Legislative Update

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Hello from the State Capitol,


I hope everybody got some sort of break from politics. I definitely did. Shortly after session ended we had our first child. Meet Sibyl Robyn West born in June! 

Now for the less exciting stuff.


Lawmakers returned to St. Paul this week to begin the 2024 legislative session, and there will be numerous issues that will receive debate.


Legalized sports betting will likely be near the top of the agenda. You’ll recall last year’s proposal was tribal exclusive, which means only the tribes can profit from it. If that bill passed you could make a bet at any of the state’s tribal casinos, but you would not be able to wager on sports at any of Minnesota’s horse racetracks, including Running Aces. Which is devoid of reason considering that the tracks are the only entities that handle sports bets right now in their horse racing.


I will be working on compromise legislation and amendments on this. I’m hopeful we can finally find common ground on this topic that satisfies all interested parties.


The state’s economic condition is also on people’s minds. Last year, Minnesota was looking at a nearly $20 billion budget surplus. By the end of session, that $20 billion was spent, an additional $10 billion in taxes were raised, and state government spending had increased by 40%. For reference, the largest budget increase in the last decade was around 10%. 


Because of this fiscal irresponsibility, Minnesota now is facing a multi-billion dollar deficit in the next budget cycle.


This is what happens when balance is missing at the State Capitol. A huge amount of Minnesotans’ concerns were completely ignored, and because of this, many extreme proposals were approved and little fiscal restraint was shown.


Inflation has cooled somewhat, but it will not reverse itself. $1.00 in 2018 is worth $1.22 today. That means even if you invested and saw a whopping 22% return, you really gained nothing. Everything is more expensive and now things like the gas tax are indexed to inflation and will go up in perpetuity. Both the government and Minnesotan's budgets are likely to be hurting in the near future. Government should be finding ways to be more responsible to its citizens, and not looking for ways to increase their financial burdens.


As session moves ahead, please feel free to contact me any time by phone at 651-296-4226 or by email at if you have legislative questions or concerns. I look forward to hearing from you.






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