There’s a lot to cover in this legislative update, so let’s get right to it:
This is a budget year, which means the Legislature’s top job this session is to set a new two-year plan for state spending and taxes. The House and Senate majorities and Gov. Tim Walz this week announced they had reached agreement to a spending plan and here’s the short of it:
They are spending the $17.5 billion surplus – and more – with nearly a 40-percent increase to the state’s current $52 billion biennial budget that would bring our new General Fund spending total to $71.9 billion.
Democrat leaders have not committed to fully repealing the state tax on Social Security and, overall, tax relief accounts for just a sliver of their budget proposal. Yet, despite a $17.5 billion surplus, they are committed to increasing sales taxes and license tab fees.
It is rather concerning that, instead of listening to Minnesotans and proposing a responsible budget with meaningful tax relief, they are going on a spending spree which sends state spending skyrocketing and leaves a shortfall in the future that could cost taxpayers even more.
This will be an ongoing topic of discussion this session as we continue working through the details of various sections of the proposed budget. Watch for more as we work through this session.
Transgender healthcare sanctuary state
House Democrats early this morning approved a bill (H.F. 146) making Minnesota a sanctuary state for transgender healthcare.
I was a “no” vote on this bill in large part because it fails to include any reasonable guardrails to protect kids. This proposal undermines the rights of parents and gives others authority over these life-long, life-changing decisions for children. It will make Minnesota a magnet for child custody victims.
For instance, this bill prohibits Minnesota from recognizing or enforcing laws from other states that allow a child to be removed from a parent’s home because the child received gender-affirming health care. It also allows temporary emergency jurisdiction to be awarded in cases of gender affirming healthcare, prohibits Minnesota from complying with out-of-state subpoenas related to individuals coming to Minnesota for gender affirming health care, and prohibits the arrest or recognition of any demand for extradition of someone who came to Minnesota for gender affirming care.
Duluth News Tribune articles
I encourage area residents to check out a couple recent DNT articles where I am featured: One is a pro-mining quote of mine in a piece by the DNT’s editorial staff. The other is actually a column of mine where I take a look at where some of the session’s top issues stand as we head into the second half with much work to do.
This is National Ag Week, highlighted by National Ag Day on Tuesday, and I want to take a moment to thank our farmers and other workers in this industry for all they do.
Ag workers are hugely important to our state and it’s not only important we support them, but also encourage more young workers to enter the industry. As a Legislature, we need to be very careful to not take high-quality land in our state out of production so we can preserve our rich ag heritage.
The National Ag Day program was started in 1973 to increase the public awareness of agriculture’s vital role in our society. Click here for more on this program and, once again, thank you to people who work in the ag industry.
More local faces
Residents of District 11A continue appearing in St. Paul this session, including:
Until next time, have a good weekend. Please let me know if you plan to come to the Capitol and would like to arrange a meeting to discuss whatever issues are important to you. I’m here to represent all the people of District 11A.