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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Lisa Demuth (R)

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Demuth: 2024 session underscores more balance needed in St. Paul

Tuesday, May 21, 2024


ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Legislature adjourned Monday, putting a bow on a two-year cycle House Republican Leader Lisa Demuth said was marked by reckless spending, needless tax increases, extreme policies and broken promises with one party in full control of the Capitol.

With the record $18 billion surplus last year, the Cold Spring Republican said Minnesotans deserved meaningful tax cuts at a time when in?ation and rising costs of living have family budgets stretched thin. Instead, Demuth said House Democrats went on a spending spree, increasing the budget by 40% – the largest budget increase in Minnesota history – and raising taxes by $10 billion in the process.

When the 2024 session began, Demuth said Democrats were right back at it, raising the cost of a new worker leave program by half a billion dollars before it even begins, and other unpopular and unnecessary tax and fee increases that take money out of the pockets of Minnesota families.

"It has been proven one-party control is bad for Minnesotans,” Demuth said. “The final night of session was absolutely chaotic as the majority passed a 1,430-page bill without the language even being available to House members before a vote took place. The last two years is marked by them abusing the legislative process and putting power and partisan politics above all else to push a radical agenda on Minnesotans.”

Along the way, Demuth said Minnesota taxpayers officially were put on the hook for a $730 million State Office Building remodel despite Republicans proposing more reasonably priced alternatives.

Demuth said Republicans successfully worked this session to resolve numerous problems created with laws enacted in 2023. Most notably, Demuth said this includes a fix to the tax bill, getting school resource officers back in all the buildings they had been serving, and correcting a net-operating loss issue.

Legislation Republicans championed to provide an additional $30 million for Emergency Ambulance Service Aid also received legislative approval late this session.

“While there were some bumps along the way with each of these bipartisan successes, in the end they all serve as examples of good work that can be accomplished when partisanship is set aside and we focus on doing what’s right for Minnesotans,” Demuth said. “We need more balance at the Capitol to bring more of these positive results.”

Demuth indicated several highly controversial, partisan policy measures were enacted under one-party control the last two years. She said this includes adopting some of the world’s most extreme abortion policy, enacting a state-funded speech registry that could undermine First Amendment rights, and declaring Minnesota a sanctuary state for transgender healthcare – for children. In addition, Demuth said a Democrat provision ended electronic pull tabs as we knew them, dealing a major blow to local charitable organizations.

Religious freedom was another high-profile issue this session after religious protections against discrimination claims that had been in our state for decades were eliminated. A variation of Republican legislation was enacted into law this session re-establishing protections for religious entities.

Demuth said the majority broke a number of promises they made to Minnesotans this biennium. In particular, she said this includes voting against bills that would provide added resources to law enforcement officers, not delivering full Social Security tax relief, and failing to provide $2,000 rebate checks.