ST. PAUL – With the 2023 legislative session now in the rearview mirror, State Representative Marj Fogelman (R-Fulda) said the gavel dropped in disappointing fashion, as Democrat leadership and Governor Walz spent the state’s $17.5 billion budget surplus and raised $9.5 billion in taxes to boot.
“With a record budget surplus, Minnesotans thought they would get a permanent break on their tax burdens,” Fogelman said. “As it turns out, their tax burdens are actually going to worsen because they’re going to pay more for a growing state government.”
Fogelman said Democrats increased state spending by 40% this session and placed numerous burdensome mandates and tax increases on every employer and worker in our state. They also raised the gasoline tax, and failed to follow through on their campaign promise to eliminate the tax on Social Security for all Minnesota seniors. Electronic pulltabs as we know them have also been eliminated, which is expected to have a devastating impact on local legions and VFW’s, as well as the charities, nonprofits, and youth organizations who benefit from the charitable gaming proceeds generated by them.
In the area of health, Fogelman noted extreme abortion policy was adopted that resembles that of fringe regimes in China and North Korea.
In public safety, a state-funded branch of thought police/speech registry was created, 2nd Amendment rights were infringed, criminals convicted of violent crimes including manslaughter, rape, kidnapping, assault, or domestic assault could be eligible to serve only half of their prison sentence or probation if they complete Department of Corrections programming.
In addition, more than $215 million will be spent to provide “free” college to Minnesota students if their family has an adjusted gross income below $80,000. The “blackout bill” was also signed into law, which will eliminate carbon energy sources – such as coal and natural gas – by 2040, which is expected to make our energy more unreliable, unaffordable, and dangerous during the winter months.
Fogelman noted House Republicans supported different alternatives to many issues facing the State of Minnesota. These include using the $17.5 billion surplus to provide significant and permanent tax relief to Minnesotans, providing stronger sentences to criminals and keeping them behind bars, funding our schools without burdensome and costly mandates, protecting and strengthening your 2nd Amendment rights, and prioritizing our nursing homes earlier during session.