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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Novotny (R)

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Capitol Newsletter from Rep. Paul Novotny

Monday, April 24, 2023

Dear Neighbors, 

Before I get into this week’s update from St. Paul, I want to encourage all of you to pray for the family of fallen Pope County Sheriff’s Deputy, Josh Owen. Deputy Owen was killed in the line of duty last weekend while responding to a domestic violence call. May he rest in peace. 

Weekly Update 

It’s been a busy week in St. Paul as we’ve had several late nights on the House Floor debating and voting on massive omnibus budget bills.  

Democrats and Gov. Walz are proposing a 40% increase in overall government spending in addition to raising nearly $10 billion in new taxes when the state has a $17.5 billion budget surplus. The massive increase in spending, tax increases, and failure to provide any meaningful tax relief is completely unacceptable. 

Veterans Bill 

On a positive note, the House unanimously approved a veterans bill this week. The bill passed without a single “no” vote, 131-0. 

This bill is about taking care of the brave men and women that have served our nation.  

It is always good to see that despite our differences in St. Paul, our veterans can still bring us together. A huge thank you to everyone that has served and their families. Your sacrifices and service do not go unnoticed. 

Transportation Bill 

On Wednesday, the House approved the Transportation Budget Bill. This bill was an easy “NO” vote for me because it will raise $3.5 billion in new taxes. As folks struggle with inflation and at a time when the state has a $17.5 billion budget surplus, there is no reason why we should be raising billions in new taxes. 

Here are some of the proposed taxes in the bill: 

  • Metro Area Sales Tax Increase totaling more than $2 billion. This will affect my constituents who make sales taxable purchases in Anoka and Hennepin counties. 
  • $513 million via a new “delivery” tax that would impact Amazon deliveries, DoorDash, Pizza shops, and everything in between. 
  • $736 million in license tab fee increases. 
  • $215 million via a Motor Vehicle Sales Tax increase. 

The bill also includes $194 million in spending to pay for a passenger train to Duluth. 

Environment and Energy Bill 

Tuesday night saw the passage of this year’s Environment and Energy Budget Bill. This bill raises $36 million in new fees that will make it more expensive to fish, hunt, enjoy our state parks, and use your boat in Minnesota.  

The bill also significantly increased spending and grew government bureaucracy to levels we have not seen.  

Like the transportation bill, this was an easy “NO” vote. 

Staying in Touch              

Congratulations to Elk River’s own, Emma Bates, for finishing 5th in this year’s Boston Marathon! What an incredible accomplishment! 

If you’re interested in any of those, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  

I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4237 or via email at

Have a good day,