Hello again from St. Paul!
It was another busy week with many long hours on the floor debating more omnibus spending bills. This week the House passed bills relating to taxes, public safety and judiciary, health, and more. Each of these bills has misplaced priorities and many raise taxes while we have a record surplus. The omnibus bills can be hard to keep track of, so here is a rundown of some of the bills that have passed this week and last week:
In the transportation budget bill, the DFL proposed several regressive tax and fee increases that total $3.5 billion. These fees include increasing license tab fees and implementing a new delivery fee on common deliveries like DoorDash and Amazon. These policies aren’t “taxing the rich,” they’re regressive taxes that will disproportionately impact the lowest income Minnesotans. The State Government omnibus bill increases the bureaucracy by 41% and spends $1.5 billion on massive pay raises for politicians (including state legislators) while adding 341 new employees to state agencies. Specifically, there is a 155% increase for Governor’s office, a 137% increase for Department of Administration, and a 396% increase for the Humanities Center, among many more increases.
The Education omnibus bill includes more money for mandates than classrooms. We have a literacy crisis in Minnesota and sadly my colleague’s amendment to support the Science of Reading and to fund students instead of mandates was rejected.
And finally, the tax bill creates a new income tax bracket and greatly limits charitable gambling in the state by restricting the use of popular E-pull tabs. Many charities and community organizations who do good work in our communities rely on this funding and during a time where we have the biggest budget surplus in state history, we should not be increasing taxes and going after organizations who do great work in our communities.
All of these omnibus spending bills focus on misplaced priorities and raise taxes and fees on everyday Minnesotans while we have a record $18 billion surplus. These regressive taxes and unfunded mandates are not our Minnesota values.
Please Contact Me Please feel free to reach out to my office if there is any way I can be of assistance. My phone number is 651-296-4282, I am here to serve you! Have a great weekend! Jim