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

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Legislative update

Friday, April 5, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

Today’s radical Democrats have run so far to the left, they are even waging war on democratized transportation by squashing the companies that established rideshare platforms for drivers who wanted to make money and riders who needed affordable travel.

It started last year when Democrats in the Legislature passed such high rideshare fee minimums that Uber and Lyft would have been pushed out of the market. Except, in a moment of clarity, the governor saved his fellow Democrats from themselves by vetoing that bill.

Now, more recently, radicals on the Minneapolis City Council not only passed their own unrealistic minimum fees for rideshares, but even overrode Mayor Jacob Frey’s appropriate veto of the proposal. That override caused Uber to announce it would cease service in the entire metro area, while Lyft said it would stop serving Minneapolis.

Each case is an example of today’s radical Democrats trampling classic, JFK-style liberal policies Democrats of yesteryear would have lauded. Instead, extremists have taken over as the face of the Democrat party and are taking over our state. In this instance it is thoughtless, irresponsible activists depriving drivers who need money and denying people who need rides.

Here is the upshot: If nothing is done, Uber and Lyft plan to stop service in our state to some degree on May 1, dealing a serious setback to drivers, the elderly, students, while also putting more people behind the wheel who should not be driving. Even public defenders are saying the departure of Uber and Lyft will result in more failures to appear in court, more warrants and more dangerous situations.

This issue could be resolved a couple of ways. First, the Minneapolis council extremists could clean up this mess by swallowing their pride and walking back their exorbitant minimum fees during their April 11 meeting. Furthermore, more reasonable Democrats in the Legislature could join Republicans as the adults in the room to help take control of this situation and send the irresponsible leftists to the kids’ table. Republicans stand ready to make this happen by working together on a solution.

The big question is whether Democrats will stand up to their own activists who are using extreme ideology to recklessly steamroll the very people for whom they claim to be advocating. Will the radicals continue putting politics before people? Will they continue throwing comparatively even-keeled Democrats like Frye under the bus in order to service their irresponsible world view? Or, preferably, will enough other Democrats not only acknowledge running Uber and Lyft out of town is bad for our state, but also get off their hands and join Republicans to do something about it?

If any reasonable Democrats remain, they are encouraged to work across the aisle to fix this problem. If they don’t, maybe that tells us we just don’t have any reasonable Democrats left – they went the way of the dinosaur. There is time to solve this problem they had a hand in creating, but it’s running out.

In other news:

More spending

Democrats in St. Paul blew the $18 billion surplus and raised taxes by $10 billion to increase state spending by 40 percent less than one year ago.

Guess what? They are back at it again, with Democrat legislators and the governor recently announcing they have reached an agreement to spend half a billion more in 2024-25. They’re ignoring our looming deficit and warnings from state officials to be cautious when budgeting. Instead of getting spending under control they want to increase spending at an even more unsustainable pace.

While half a billion dollars is a lot of money, we should note it represents only one-third of the amount Democrats gave last spring to nonprofits/political friends to fritter away on pet projects. We can be assured money in this new proposal will not match the values of most Minnesotans. One way or another, taxpayer dollars will end up in the hands of activists who, in turn, will find even more ways to spend our hard-earned money and restrict our freedoms.