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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jeremy Munson (R)

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Thursday, January 9, 2020

St. Paul – Today, five Republican members of the Minnesota House of Representatives announced a bill to eliminate the newest Democratic wealth redistribution initiative that aims to socially engineer newborn St. Paul residents. The bill, introduced by Reps. Drazkowski; Miller; Bahr; Munson; Mekeland; and Lucero, is designed to eliminate St. Paul’s recently enacted college savings government program. St. Paul’s program, funded by taxpayer dollars from all Minnesotans, deposits $50 into a government-controlled account kept on behalf of each child born in the city.

Specifically, the bill repeals the $500,000 in funding that was used to launch St. Paul’s college savings program and strikes the program authorization from law.

“Our bill is designed to balance the scales regarding who receives government funds,” said Rep. Tim Miller. “The half-a-million dollars of Minnesota taxpayer money which went towards this project should never have been allocated. We are going take that money back and end this insidious attempt at social engineering orchestrated by Mayor Melvin Carter and Rep. Kaohly Her.”

Additionally, the new legislation reduces the amount of future Local Government Aid (LGA) funds a city is awarded if they create these types of savings accounts with taxpayer dollars. Finally, any funds that come back to the state due to such a reduction will be returned to families with children through a one-time increase in the dependent income tax exemption.

“Taxpayer dollars should not be used to start private savings accounts,” said Rep. Steve Drazkowski. “The Democrats want to insert government into the delivery room and we want government kept out. Annually, Minneapolis and St. Paul receive $81.6 million and $69.2 million, respectively in state taxpayer-funded Local Government Aid (LGA). That’s 14.5% and 12.4% respectively, of the total LGA budget. Even though both cities represent only 13% of Minnesota’s population, they receive almost 27% of our total LGA funds. Both cities need to pull their own weight, rather than relying on the rest of Minnesota to fund their tomfoolery.”

“We owe Minnesotans the assurance that their tax dollars are not being misused on vanity projects designed by self-interested politicians,” said Rep. Jeremy Munson. “As such, our bill prioritizes tax relief for families instead of the imagined progress offered endlessly by Democrats.”

In addition to authoring this bill, the Republican legislators advocated for a return to single-subject bills at the Minnesota Legislature.

“The St. Paul college savings program was one of the many dreadful initiatives rolled into the 2019 special session omnibus bills,” said Rep. Cal Bahr. “This program represents another reason why we need to return to truly single-subject bills. The members of the Minnesota House of Representatives should have been given a chance to debate, consider, and vote on this initiative specifically. Instead, party leaders crammed this awful proposal into an omnibus bill and passed it hoping Minnesotans would not notice. This practice needs to end.”

The New House Republican Caucus is led by Rep. Steve Drazkowski (Republican – Mazeppa). The caucus also includes Rep. Tim Miller (Republican – Prinsburg), Rep. Cal Bahr (Republican – East Bethel), and Rep. Jeremy Munson (Republican – Lake Crystal).