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

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Brushing up on the issues as new legislative session approaches

Wednesday, February 7, 2024


By Rep. Jeff Dotseth

The 2024 legislative session soon will start, which makes this a great time to reflect on where things stood when legislators left the Capitol last spring, what happened since and what’s on the table when we return. 

Before we get into that business, I would like to say how much I have enjoyed spending the interim months meeting with countless local individuals, businesspeople and leadership officials. It is crucial for me to keep tabs on the issues that are impacting District 11A residents most so I can best serve as the problem solver people from our area deserve.  

To that point, I’m proud of the bipartisan work we did in the 2023 session to finally deliver on local projects that were long overdue. This includes:

  • $17.5 million for the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District (Cloquet, Thomson Township, city of Carlton)
  • $10 million for the Carlton County female offender and judicial facility
  • $5 million for Cloquet water infrastructure

Furthermore, nursing homes in House District 11A have begun receiving shares of the $300 million infusion of state funding I supported and the Legislature provided last May. Our nursing homes have been struggling and I’m happy we were able to deliver more funding for them after Republicans successfully negotiated these dollars. 

While we did quite well locally, there are major concerns for our state in general after the 2023 session. Democrats spent the $17.5 billion surplus and raised taxes by nearly $10 billion, increasing state spending by 40-percent. The latest state economic forecast shows a potential shortfall in the next biennium. In other words, Democrats turned a $17.5 billion surplus into a shortfall in just months.  

And the hole keeps getting deeper because groundbreaking has taken place on the Democrats’ $730 million renovation and expansion of the State Office Building in St. Paul, home to offices of House members. The aging building needs some work, but $730 million is an insult to taxpayers. Democrats did this without the public debate, scrutiny or transparency a $730 million proposal warrants.  

This is just another example of why we need more balance at the Capitol instead of having one-party control run roughshod. In fact, one of the first things we should do in the 2024 session is to fix a major safety problem one-party control caused in our schools when Democrats passed a law causing the removal of school resource officers throughout the state. This issue still has not been fully resolved and action is needed because we must keep our local students, teachers and staff safe.  

Other top priorities of mine for the 2024 session include fully repealing the tax on Social Security since Democrats failed to do so despite bipartisan support. We also should eliminate costly, unnecessary, unfunded state mandates that are overburdening our local schools, communities, etc., at a time prices are rising across the board.

Again, Minnesota needs balance in St. Paul to support local budgets and restore common sense in state government.  

Local residents are encouraged to follow along by subscribing to my legislative newsletters at The website also features archived news items and lists of bills I’ve authored/co-authored so you can get the facts and see what I’m working on for people in our local communities.  

Please stay in touch as we get down to business in the 2024 session. You can best reach me during the coming months by calling (651) 296-4308 or emailing Your input continues helping me focus on local issues so we can do what’s best for the people of our area.