Swampy Bills Passed in the Dark of Night

There's an old saying: nothing good happens in the middle of the night. Well, that phrase couldn't be more true when talking about the swamp in St Paul. Last night, your Republican Senate voted to increase your taxes and fund the fraudulent child care program in the dark of night.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has been a massive let down for the conservative movement in Minnesota. And the remainder of his Republican caucus appear to be lemmings, blindly following his swampy agenda to grow government.

We knew as soon as a Special Taxing Session was announced so quickly after the Legislature adjourned that we were in trouble as taxpayers. $100 Million of fraudin the Child Care Assistance Program means nothing to our elected officials who care only about their re-election.

Action 4 Liberty watched as all 67 Senatorsvoted for the massive HHS Omnibus bill that clearly violates the single subject rule of our Constitution. Gazelka and allies have no interest in following the rules in that old piece of paper I guess.

How could a bill on health care and welfare unite ALL Republicans and Democrats in the Senate? If a bill like that had one ounce of cuts, we'd see Democrats abandon it in drones.

The HHS Omnibus bill was a monstrosity of government interference in our lives. It's the bill that funds Planned Parenthood with taxpayer money though the Medical Assistance program appropriations. It's also the bill that re-upped the Health Insurance bailout program (called Reinsurance at the Capitol) which uses taxpayer money to cover health care claims.

The deal that swampy Gazelka made with liberal Governor Walz also included reinstating the tax on the sick known as the provider tax. That awful tax was scheduled to sunset on June 30th, but Gazelka agreed to reinstate it INDEFINITELY!

In other words, Republicans just increased YOUR taxes.

Here's the vote:

Things have deteriorated so bad in the ranks of Republican legislators that the Senate Republican Caucus actually went on social media late last night to brag about historic funding increases in education. Perhaps they think this will get the teacher's union on their side in the next election. Cough cough yeah right!

Action 4 Liberty believes you deserve a better government. You deserve a legislature that is transparent, gets their work done on time, follows the rule of law and doesn't make deals with three people behind closed doors. You also deserve a smaller government so that money stays in your hands through massive tax cuts that make Minnesota no longer the worst tax statein the country!

We will take our message to the 2020 election and start getting rid of some of these big government, swamp dwelling RINOs. Some of the senators who voted to fund the fraudulent child care program and increasing your taxes will face primary challengers.

Action 4 Liberty recruits and equips candidates for political office. The legislators we've helped get elected in the Minnesota House are the best voting legislators. Now we shift our focus to making the Minnesota Senate better by building a freedom team.

If you would like to help us, please reach out to me at jake@action4liberty.com. Let's find out how you can help Minnesota taxpayers with the 2020 Freedom Team Plan.


You've Been Hoodwinked - Special Session Today

Do you remember the old School House Rock "I'm Just a Bill" song? That tune laid out the process of how a bill becomes law under our Constitutional Republic. Unfortunately the lyrics are all wrong when it comes to our state government. Apparently a bill becomes law when Governor Walz, Speaker Hortman and Senator Gazelka agree to $48 Billion of spending behind closed doors.

Walz called a one-day Special Session that starts at 10 am this morning and adjourns by 7 am on Saturday. The agenda is to pass thousands of pages of bills that spend $48 Billionof our money and increase taxes on us. Oh, and by the way...none of the legislators will have time to read what they are voting on.

Here's the agenda:

[gview file="http://action4liberty.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Agreement-for-Special-Session-5.23.2019_tcm1055-385839.pdf"]

In order to make this all happen in the constrained timeline, an agreement will be made by legislators to suspend the rules to avoid long, contentious floor debates.  Your legislator will not allow the actual legislative process to work. Instead, they will fast track a tax increase on the sick that was part of the budget deal.

We've been following the legislature closely this whole time because you have told us how much you care about rampant fraud in the Child Care Assistance Program. We delivered 12,000 of your petitions to the Capitol, flew a plane banner around the Twin Cities, lit dropped legislative districts, sent out mailers, emails and made phone calls. Yet, we are completely in the dark right now on the status of funding the fraudulent child care program.

SUITCASES OF CASH HEADING TO SOMALIA

As you can imagine, that most likely means Governor Walz and Senator Gazelka have no intention to actually stop using our tax money to fund a program full of fraud.

Don't settle for this type of corrupt governance. Call your legislators today and tell them to not agree to suspend the rules and vote no on all the omnibus bills today. The deal that was struck by Walz-Hortman-Gazelka is only powerful if your legislator blindly follows their lead. But each legislator has a vote and they answer to you, their boss, not someone with a title at the Capitol.

FIND WHO REPRESENTS ME

 


Legislature Adjourns at Midnight Passing Only One Budget Bill

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned last night sine die (latin for without another day) for the 2019 Legislative Session. At this point, they aren't scheduled to meet again until February of next year. So far, only one budget bill has passed: the Higher Education Omnibus bill.

To avoid a government shutdown in every government area outside of higher education, the Governor needs to call a Special Session before July 1st. The Legislative leaders came to a budget agreementwith the Governor on Sunday night, so it appears a special session will occur within the next couple weeks.

In the final half hour of the session last night, before the Constitutionally mandated midnight adjournment, the Republican Senate rammed through the Agriculture, Rural Development and Housing Finance Omnibus bill that no legislator had a chance to read. The bill passed with only 17 votes against it. However, that bill was killed on the House floor by Republicans who argued no one had a chance to go through the 110 page bill.

Stay tuned to Action 4 Liberty for up-to-date news about the 2019 Special Session.


After Secret Talks, Tax, Spending & Debt Increases Emerge

 

Minnesotans were left in the dark for the last week as the legislative process in the state boiled down to three key players meeting behind closed doors: Governor Walz, Senator Paul Gazelka and Speaker Melissa Hortman. The goal of the secret meetings was to come to a compromise deal then push those items into conference committee bills in less than a day for a quick vote on the Senate and House floors.

As one can imagine, taxpayers in Minnesota did not fare well in these secretive talks. The infamous provider tax, which is assessed when sick people receive care, was re-upped at 1.8%. It would represent a tax increase of over $1.2 Billion in the upcoming biennium. Senate Republicans spent the last year talking about how awful the tax is, only to cave on their no new tax pledge.

In exchange for the tax on the sick, Republicans got a relatively minuscule tax rate reduction for the middle income tax bracket. Tax filers currently paying 7.05% on income will see that reduced to 6.75%.  Of course, any tax reduction is good in our book. But this new tax change does not go into effect until 2022.

The deal also apparently includes $500 Million of bonding debt that will go towards housing projects. Future Minnesota taxpayers will be left with the bill on this one.

Education spending will receive 2% annual increases in the next two years which appears to be a complete win for the Walz Administration. Add that to the current price tag of government for the next biennium which is being reported to be over $48 Billion. With revenues projected at $47.9 Billion, the whole surplus was spent and not given back to taxpayers.

In order to pay for the increase, the state government is going to tap into the massive budget reserves. Over $2 Billion of our tax money has been held in a reserve account for the last couple of years. Now Republicans and Democrats are tapping into that account to spend on their bloated government projects.

Another horrible part about the deal is that the health insurance bailout program (Reinsurance) has been renewed for another two years. This was one of the biggest items Republicans fought for which is also something Angie Craig and Amy Klobuchar support at the federal level. It uses taxpayer money to bailout insurance companies on medical claims over $50,000.

Thanks to thousands of angry voters and activists, the awful gas tax increase was killed in its entirety. Walz wanted to increase that tax by 70%, but the tax was widely unpopular and Republicans were forced to side with taxpayers and voters on that issue despite Senators like Jason Rarick saying he would support a modest increase.

What we don't know: Fraudulent child care program funding. We assume that the Child Care Assistance Program received full funding in the budget deal, but we won't know until the HHS Conference Committee later in the day. We'll keep you informed.

The final deal will manifest into law by being added to the Omnibus bills in the conference committees. Those bills will be fast-tracked and sent to the two chambers for a final vote where legislators will have an agreement not to hold up the process with amendments. There won't be enough time today to make it all work, so we're likely to see a one to two day special session later in the week.

Action 4 Liberty thinks Minnesotans got a bad deal on this one. Instead of shrinking government, giving back the surplus and reducing taxes, Senate Republicans did the exact opposite. The only way to stop this monstrosity at this point is to tell your Senator to vote against the spending bills and tax increases. In particular, bonding debt bills require 60% of the legislature for passage.


Republican Senate Just Voted to Fund Child Care Fraud (Continuing Appropriations)

The Republican controlled Minnesota Senate just passed a Continuing Appropriations bill that would increase state government spending by 6.5%and fully fund the fraudulent child care program. This bill was their gimmick to keep government's "lights on" in case negotiations break down between Gazelka and the Governor.

Here's the vote:

Instead of introducing a bill that freezes spending for the next two years, the Senate Republicans' bizarre approach was to use the State Economist's forecast numbers which grows state spending by nearly $2 Billion.

On top of that, since the bill does not direct the surplus funds, it would mean that the surplus remains in the government coffers for future spending. What about their Continuing Appropriations bill should conservatives be excited about?

Action 4 Liberty strongly opposed the passage of this bill. We expect legislators to defund the fraudulent child care program and start shrinking the size and scope of government.


Walz-Gazelka: Stop Funding Child Care Fraud!

The skies are getting darker over the Capitol as the 2019 Legislative Session winds down. After four months of legislative work, the whole law-making process boils down to negotiations between Governor Walz, Speaker Melissa Hortman and Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka. And these negotiations are happening behind closed doors.

We know the Republican Senate is rushing a bill to fund government operations for the next two years to the Senate floor this afternoon. This Continuing Appropriations bill would fund the fraudulent child care program in its entirety.

Action 4 Liberty has demanded that Senate Republicans stick their heals in the swamp mud when negotiating with Governor Walz to defund the fraudulent program. Yesterday we delivered 12,000 of your petitions to end the fraud.

 

Thanks to the generosity of the thousands of supporters of Action 4 Liberty, we were able to fund a second flight to bring important attention to this issue. $100 Millionof fraudulent child care claims are being stolen from taxpayers in this state and flown in suitcases of cash to Somalia. Now everyone traveling the major metro corridors heading home for the weekend or up to the cabin will see our message.

 


Chamberlain's Gimmick Not Good - Grows Gov't by 6.5%

Senate Tax Committee Chair Roger Chamberlain introduced a provision yesterday that would fund state government operations for the next two years at current projected spending levels in case a deal isn't reached by the Governor and Senator Gazelka in the next 3 days. The Continuing Appropriations provisionwould amend HF 2032 in a fashion similar to the continuing resolutions that the federal congress has been employing for the last decade.

This bill would not freeze spending, despite what some people might be led to believe. It actually grows the government by 6.5% because it uses the February Economic Forecastof upcoming biennium spending. Often times legislators say that our state has automatic spending increases. But this is obviously not the case since a bill like this is needed to avert a government shutdown.

How do we calculate this number? The February Report forecasts that upcoming biennium spending would be $47.4 Billion, but it would also leave a $1 Billion budgetary surplus. That means the government would hold on to that amount for future spending and not give it back to taxpayers.

Since the Republican Senate has failed us tremendously this year in keeping campaign promises to shrink the size and scope of government, Chamberlain's bill would appear to be the best deal on the table. However, the bill as written, would fully fund the fraudulent child care program for the next two years and would ensure the budget surplus does not go back to taxpayers. 


Chip in $9 to Fly the Banner Again!

We flew this banner over the Capitol on Monday to tell Republican Senators to end the fraudulent child care program. Yesterday we delivered 12,000 petitions as well.

$100 Million of your money is being stolen through fraudulent child care claims and sent in suitcases of cash overseas. One year ago this week, Fox 9 broke the story.

 

We say ENOUGH is ENOUGH! End the fraudulent child care program now! Help us get the message out again by chipping in $9 to help us fly the banner today.

Don’t think they are paying attention? The HHS Conference Committee chair watched our aerial banner out of her Senate office window.


12,000 Petitions Delivered to End Child Care Fraud Program

We just delivered 12,000 of your petitionsto the Governor and legislators that say "End the Fraudulent Child Care Program". Right now, Governor Walz, Senator Gazelka and Speaker Hortman are meeting behind closed doors deciding the spending priorities for the next two years. They are on the cusp of funding this massively fraudulent program with your tax dollars.

$100 Million of the $250 Million annual program is going towards fraudulent child care claims. There is no accountability at the Department of Human Services, therefore there is no way to protect our dollars other than to end the program.

 

Action 4 Liberty believes that programs like the Child Care Assistance Program that has rampant fraud need to be defunded. On top of that, paying for people's child care is not a proper role of the state government. Tell your legislator to end the fraudulent child care program now.


DFL vs GOP Comparison on Child Care Fraud Funding

Tuesday, May 14th - Legislators from both the House and Senate are going through the massive HHS Omnibus bill in conference committee this week as the 2019 Legislative Session winds down. Monday is the mandatory date for adjournment at the Capitol.

Action 4 Liberty is staying on top of the proceedings at the Capitol, but we want to equip you to follow what's going on as well.

HHS Omnibus Bill Link: HF 2414

Conference Committee Schedule & Video: Click here

At this stage, the Democrats plan to fully fund the fraudulent child care program in the upcoming biennium to the tune of $232 Millionof your tax money. The Republican Senate wants to fund it by $105 Million. Although they don't fund it in FY 2021, we believe they are going to give into the Democrats in the conference committee.

We say the program should be defunded and shut down now. Funding people's child care is not a proper role of the government and the only way to truly end the fraud, is by removing the program.