On Friday, Governor Mark Dayton laid out his supplemental budget proposal that would essentially allocate most of the state projected budget surplus of $329 Million towards more spending or remaining in government accounts. Odd number legislative years is when the Legislature and Governor pass a biennium budget, however, a wish list of election promised pork spending gets masked as "supplemental spending bills" in the even number years.
Included in the Governor's proposal is nearly $40 Million to rescue the failed MNLARS program and the administrators of it at MN.IT. Another $27 Million would go to government pension plans, while $30 Million would be allocated to border-to-border broadband.
What might be the most egregious part of the plan, is that Dayton wants to shift recently passed GOP property tax cuts from businesses to refundable tax credits so Minnesotans without tax liability receive a paycheck. That's more redistribution of wealth.
Action 4 Liberty encourages the GOP Legislature to return all of the surplus through tax reforms. After growing government by 9.5% last year, there's no reason to grow government by one more penny.
Scott County Republicans endorsed Erik Mortensen on Saturday over incumbent Bob Loonan for the Minnesota House. Mortensen ran on a platform of changing course in St Paul from the current trend of high taxes and overregulation. Loonan's career in office was with a Republican majority that grew spending, debt and the role of government in health care.
“There was a clear and convincing message sent from the people that they wanted a new representative going forward that will fight to uphold their principles,” Scott County GOP Chairman Joe Ditto explained. “It was a single ballot endorsement with commanding victory of over 70% of Republican delegate support. It was an open and shut case.”
Erik Mortensen, a longtime Republican activist and lifelong Shakopee resident, was chosen by the elected precinct delegates to be their endorsed candidate on the ballot this fall. “It was an open, fair and transparent endorsement process that we are all proud of. All the candidates had complete knowledge of the process and access to the delegates to make their case. We have an endorsed candidate in Erik Mortensen that all Republicans can rally around to advance our shared principles and defeat the Democrats this fall,” Nominations Chairman Jonny Anderson explained.
“The people are clamoring for us to Change Course,” Mortensen said. “All too often politicians make promises they don’t keep. When they heard that I will vote for individual freedom and against government stifling regulation, they jumped on board.” he continued.
“It’s clear that authenticity sells and Erik is as genuine as they come. We are excited to have him carry our message forward,” Chairman Ditto concluded.
A new bill in the Minnesota Legislature, authored by Rep Nick Zerwas in the House, would minimize patient privacy in Minnesota if passed. The bill known as Patient Consent Modification (HF3312) would allow health providers to utilize federal HIPAA law standards for disclosure of patient records, which carries language that is less strict than current Minnesota statute.
According to Citizens Council for Health Freedom the "US Dept of HHS lists 1.5 million business associates who can have access to your data under HIPAA without your consent, if your doctor, hospital or insurer gives it to them. But under MN's privacy law, they must get your consent."
With government's ever increasing role in health care and collection of data, one could imagine how bad this bill is for the future of our privacy. Imagine federal laws for purchasing firearms loosely allowed businesses to share gun purchases with others, including government agencies. But Minnesota had strict language in law that stated gun purchase information could only be released with the consent of the customer. This law would allow the federal language to be used by retailers and would lead to things like gun registration lists collected by the government. It's not hard to imagine the potential abuse of that.
Health privacy is a major pillar of health freedom. There's a growing trend towards leaving a private sector health care system in the U.S. in lieu of government run health care. The more the government is involved in our health care or the status of our health, the less overall freedom we have.
Action 4 Liberty opposes this bill in its current form and has added the Senate version to our Watchlist on mnscorecard.com. Click here.
The disastrous government project known as MNLARS met a roadblock yesterday in the Republican controlled House. Despite wasting $93 Million of taxpayer money on a failed IT system used for processing the states motor licenses, Governor Dayton and his newly appointed MNIT chief are requesting $43 Million more. This isn't the first time we've seen politicians try solving problems by throwing more money at it.
MNIT chief Johanna Clyborne requested $10 Million immediately to "keep computer programmers on board." But Republicans in the Transportation Committee had other plans in mind and voted for Rep Paul Torkelson's bill HF 3147 which appropriates $10 Million to MNIT in exchange for an equal amount of cuts to the "general fund executive agency appropriations." The bill also requires a detailed project schedule and measurable performance benchmarks (added as amendments in committee).
Our position at Action 4 Liberty is that there should be no additional spending this session after lawmakers grew state biennium spending by a massive $4.5 Billion last year. We encourage legislators to oppose Governor Dayton's call for spending additional taxpayer money, especially to fix a problem that he is responsible for creating.
WOODBURY, MN. - Action 4 Liberty announces the launch of its new website, mnscorecard.com.
A4L's vision is to make Minnesota a Top 10 State for Business by changing the course in St. Paul and expanding business freedom, health freedom and education freedom.
The website will pro-actively evaluate bills as they come up in the legislature. The site will use the following criteria to evaluate scoring: does the bill expand individual freedom and reduce government control?
"Our goal is to make this website a pro-active tool to inform legislators of conservative positions before votes are taken and also an accountability tool to inform voters when legislators are voting against your liberties," said Action 4 Liberty President Jake Duesenberg.
One of the top legislative priorities of the Minnesota DFL is to expand government's role in health care with the expansion of the MNCare program. Here's a quick video explanation: