We’re nearing the midway point of a legislative session in which Democrats have introduced – and, in some cases approved – a litany of outlandish bills. Their ideas run the gamut from on-demand abortion to extreme employer mandates, dangerous energy policy, prohibiting the sale of water in plastic bottles, banning gas-powered lawn equipment and much, much more.
In fact, if you ask me, "What is the craziest thing the Democrats are doing in Minnesota?" I point squarely at H.F. 146, a bill which enables kidnapping children. This would be laughable if it weren’t so serious. Click the below image for more in a quick clip:
In other news from the House:
$17.5 billion surplus
State officials delivered a new economic forecast for Minnesota on Monday and it shows a $17.5 billion surplus for the new biennium. That figure that will serve as the official framework for the Legislature to establish a new two-year state budget this session before adjourning in late May.
The surplus dollar amount is about the same as the last forecast projected in early December, with one important caveat: This new report factored for inflation for the first time in decades and it suppressed the revenue projection by almost $1.5 billion.
In other words, state revenue continues to exceed previous estimates by around $1.5 billion, effectively canceling the addition of inflation to the equation. It was a wash, and the state still has a $17.5 billion surplus. These are taxpayer dollars, and the taxpayers deserve for them to be returned – starting with fully repealing the state tax on Social Security.
Our state’s continued over-taxation is a multi-layered issue and I have authored a package of bills to make improvements three separate ways. Together, my bills support sustainable stewardship by helping our state live within its means, protecting taxpayers and setting new parameters for tax increases. (I hope to share more details on this soon.)
As for the subject at hand, just hours after receiving the updated economic forecast, House Republicans sought to fast-track legislation fully eliminating the state tax on Social Security. House Democrats blocked that motion in a floor vote.
That was an interesting development because Democrats have gone on the record saying they support ending the state’s tax on Social Security, but have been dragging their feet on this issue since the session began and refused to take action Monday. This isn’t the last word on this issue and House Republicans are going to continue reminding them of promises they made to Minnesota seniors (see below).
Republican “Give It Back” tax plan
House and Senate Republicans conducted a press conference this week to unveil our “Give It Back” tax 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
The House majority may not be acting as if tax relief is a priority, but to hardworking Minnesotans it is. Our state government is swimming in cash by over-collecting tax dollars from Minnesotans who are struggling to pay gas, groceries. With a $17.5 billion surplus, if we can’t give tax relief to Minnesotans now, when can we?
This is the perfect opportunity to give bipartisan tax relief and put more money back into Minnesotans’ pockets. There is no excuse. Let’s get this done.