Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Walter Hudson (R)

Back to profile

Legislative update

Thursday, May 25, 2023
Memorial Day

Dear Neighbor,

The 2023 legislative session adjourned Monday, after nearly five months of the Democrat trifecta ran roughshod over Minnesota, treating a narrow majority as an unchecked mandate for passing a far-left agenda.

The new two-year state budget Democrats approved will increase spending by more than 40 percent, from $52 billion to $72 billion. Democrats also approved almost $10 billion in tax increases despite a $17.5 billion state surplus. This includes raising the state’s gas tax by 3.5 cents per gallon and tying it to inflation, increasing license tab fees, adding a 50-cent delivery tax, a new payroll tax that will hit employers and employees alike, and more.

On the subject of taxes, we have heard Democrats in recent days proclaim taxes are about “care,” as if our philanthropic credentials are measured by how much of our hard-earned treasure we are willing to cede our government.

Here’s the thing: Taxes are not about “care.” No one's heart swells with pride as they look at the tax withholding on their pay stub. No one feels generous and fulfilled as they drop their tax payment in the mail. No one sends the state more than they owe in order to "care" more.

Taxes take from our capacity to care for those we love. Taxes take from our ability to build a future for our children and grandchildren. Taxes throttle our capacity to live. Worse, when they are used to redistribute wealth rather than provide genuine public goods, they foster resentment and division.

Ironically, the 2023 tax bill Democrats led to enactment includes a provision which hobbles our capacity to directly care for one another through local charity. Productivity and virtue have been replaced by redistribution and grievance.

“Care” wasn't part of this legislative session. In fact, Democrats squeaked out a razor-thin majority in the 2022 election, indicating Minnesota is a state largely divided which sought progress tempered with moderation. Instead, they got a full-tilt unhinged spending spree driven by the most radical activist elements of the Democrat party. A $72 billion state budget – a 40% increase – is simply unsustainable. By contrast, Republicans offered reasonable solutions which respect the values of working Minnesotans.

Despite increasing state spending so significantly, Democrats failed to provide a full elimination of the state’s Social Security tax despite nearly universal support for that move. And, after Gov. Tim Walz began the session by supporting $2,000 surplus rebates for joint filers, Democrats ultimately approved just a fraction of that amount – $260 per person, or $520 per couple with income thresholds of $75,000/$150,000.

Sending individuals a single check for $260 will be dwarfed by the tax increases Minnesotans will be paying. The state has vastly over-collected from Minnesota taxpayers and they deserved meaningful, historic relief instead of a $260 pat on the head from Democrats.

We seem to be missing some “care” here.

Aside from state finances, Democrats enacted several highly controversial, partisan policy measures. This includes adopting some of the world’s most extreme abortion policy, enacting a state-funded speech registry that could undermine First Amendment rights, declaring Minnesota a sanctuary state for transgender healthcare for children and adopting gun-control laws that will do more to burden law-abiding citizens than thwart violent criminals. In addition, a Democrat provision will end electronic pull tabs as we know them, dealing a major blow to local charitable organizations.

One silver lining from this session is legislative Republicans scored a big win for nursing homes by successfully negotiating $300 million more than Democrats had previously proposed providing them. This added funding will help that industry at a time nursing homes have been forced to close and families have been left scrambling to find care for their loved ones.

It will be interesting to see how the Democrats’ overplayed hand lands with the public in the coming weeks and months. It has the feeling of a situation where “the Democrats did what?” is going to be a constant refrain from Minnesotans as the dust settles on all the radical changes the Democrat trifecta enacted this year. This is far beyond what even most everyday Democrats can support and I imagine some buyer’s remorse is setting in. Democrats will have to answer some tough questions but, unfortunately, so much of their damage already has been done.

I look forward to hearing more about what people in our district are thinking and, as always, your input is welcome. For now, I hope you have an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend as we pay tribute to the American heroes who gave their lives for us and our nation.



Recent News for Rep. Walter Hudson