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

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Legislative update

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned Monday, bringing to a screeching halt a two-year cycle marked by misplaced priorities, mismanagement and sheer, flagrant hubris with Democrats in full control of the Capitol.

With the record $18 billion surplus last year, Minnesotans deserved meaningful tax cuts at a time when in?ation and rising costs of living have family budgets stretched thin. Instead, Democrats blew the surplus on a spending binge, increasing the budget by 40% – the largest budget increase in Minnesota history – and raising taxes by $10 billion in the process.

This was a missed opportunity of epic proportions and here’s why it happened: Instead of prioritizing work necessary to serve Minnesotans, Democrats prioritized left-wing, radical, unpopular ideologies. Because of the extreme policies they are prioritizing, Democrats couldn’t work with the minority. That resulted in Democrats giving an outsized voice to the most unserious, most irresponsible, and most wild element of their caucus.

It is a classic example of the tail wagging the dog.

Just look at the highly controversial, partisan policy measures with one party in control the last two years, including adopting some of the world’s most extreme abortion policy, enacting a state-funded speech registry that could undermine First Amendment rights, eroding Second Amendment rights, and declaring Minnesota a sanctuary state for transgender healthcare – for children.

The 2024 session was put in peril when the Senate was sideswiped by a member drawing felony burglary charges in late April, undermining the Democrats’ one-seat majority in that body. This caused a crisis for misplaced priorities. They could have reoriented their work, worked with Republicans to finish essential bills and put the woke agenda on the back burner. Instead, Democrats allowed themselves to continue being dragged by the nose by their most wild activists.

Things hit a crescendo Saturday when the Senate apparently was held hostage by a member who wanted to get his way on the Uber/Lyft controversy, soaking up 18 hours at the end of the session and putting the Legislature in terrible position to complete its work responsibly and seriously.

Choices Democrats made before the 2023 session even began put the Legislature on course for a train wreck, which occurred Sunday night as a raucous scene unfolded in both the House and the Senate leading up to the midnight deadline to pass bills. Amid chaos, House Democrats passed a bill 1,430 pages long in a matter of moments, without discussion and even without the bill text having been made available to House members (or the public) before a vote took place.

Democrats have been quoted as saying, “the spectacle will fade, but the work will remain.” That’s sheer, flagrant hubris. What she means is Democrats have so little regard for the integrity of our legislative institution and process due to Minnesotans who deserve a voice in governance, they are reducing it to the word, “spectacle.”

If you take a step back, it makes sense. How little Democrats allowed the minority to talk in committee meetings is instructive. To the Democrats, the committee process is pageantry, with very few details and little public testimony or member discussion. They regard the work we do at the Capitol as a spectacle, not a governing process – and certainly not a representative process.

We need to restore balance at the Capitol before any more damage is done.