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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jeff Dotseth (R)

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State surplus still mounting and more from the House

Friday, March 3, 2023


By Rep. Jeff Dotseth

The Legislature is nearing midpoint of the 2023 session and budget work will begin in earnest now that we have received an updated economic forecast, providing an official framework.

State officials project a $17.5 billion surplus for the new biennium, indicating revenue continues to grow in our state. This trend of mounting state revenue is occurring as Minnesotans are struggling with higher prices across the board. Let’s balance things out by providing serious tax relief so people can live more comfortably.

House and Senate Republicans recently unveiled a “Give It Back” plan , which provides $13 billion over two years in permanent tax cuts and one-time rebates. The package features tax relief benefiting Minnesotans both now and in the long-term, such as:

  • Lower first- and second-tier tax rates
  • Full elimination of Social Security tax
  • $1,800 tax credit per child
  • Property tax relief
  • $5 billion in rebates

These permanent tax cuts and one-time rebates are sustainable and worthy of bipartisan support because they are the right things to do for Minnesotans.

Reading RESET

House and Senate Republicans have put forth a “Reading RESET” plan to address our state’s reading crisis.

Reports show half of Minnesota’s students are unable to read proficiently at grade level and, until Reading RESET, our state had no real science-based reading plan to correct this problem. The plan would establish a special revenue fund, similar to a disaster relief fund, from which schools can apply to cover costs related to aligning their curriculum and instructional practices to the science of Reading.

Our students have fallen behind in reading and we owe it to them to provide real resources to help them succeed. This is not a partisan issue and I hope we can come together to do what’s best for all of our children.

Second Amendment

People in our area who cherish the Second Amendment should be on notice regarding gun-control bills House Democrats are moving through the committee process in an attempt to add unprecedented restrictions into state law. This includes:

  • HF 14: Universal background checks (aka, Universal Gun Registration): Criminal background checks required for firearm transfers, and grounds modified for disqualification of transferee permit.
  • HF 15: Red Flag gun confiscation orders: Law enforcement and family members enabled to petition a court to prohibit people from possessing firearms if they pose a significant danger to themselves or others by possessing a firearm, and money appropriated.
  • HF 396: Safe storage of firearms and ammunition required, locking device required to be included in each firearm transfer, and criminal penalties imposed.
  • HF 601: Lost and stolen firearms required to be reported promptly to law enforcement.

The Second Amendment is something people in our area take very seriously and it is important to read these bills and understand what is on the line. I have concerns with each of these bills and do not support them. To the contrary, I am championing a Stand Your Ground bill (H.F. 356).

Bills that ban things

I am receiving significant feedback regarding numerous bills House Democrats have authored to ban things in Minnesota. One bill bans the sale of gas-powered lawn/garden equipment in our state. A separate bill prohibits the sale of non-electric Zambonis here. Gas-powered snowblowers and motorboats aren't mentioned by name in these bills, but it seems they can't be far behind. Still another bill would ban the sale of water in plastic bottles.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me on these bills. I share your concerns, oppose these proposals and welcome your continued feedback on these or other issues of importance to you by mailing