Republican Senator Julie Rosen and several metro Democrats authored a bill that tells restaurants to make the default beverage in children's meals water, sparkling water or white milk. SF 2797 specifies that the beverage can't be more than 130 calories and regulates the advertising for the children's meal only uses imagery of the government approved beverages.
The Senate bill's chief author is liberal Democrat Senator Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove). Joining on the bill is Sen Dan Spark (DFL-Austin), Sen Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids) and Rosen. The House bill, which was introduced in February, is authored only be Democrats. It's currently sitting in the Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Division Committee.
Here's the language:
Rep Jeremy Munson (R-Lake Crystal) introduced the Give It Back Act (HF4270), a bill that would take the nearly $4 Billion budget surplus ($1.5B budgetary balance + $2.4B reserve account) and give it all back to taxpaying Minnesotans by October. Taxpayers in the state would receive a $1,000 refund check for single filers or $2,000 for joint filers. Joining Munson on the bill are several other Republican lawmakers including Rep Cal Bahr (R-East Bethel).
“Last year, the Minnesota legislature fully funded our state government for two years” stated Jeremy Munson. “So we have no need to spend a dime of the surplus on more government. That’s why we want the taxpayers to get that money back as soon as possible.” Munson added “Democrats want to spend the money on more wasteful projects. We want families to have the money back so they can spend it on things important to them. Let’s not forget, it’s their money in the first place.”
The New House Republican Caucus is unique in the Legislature because they are the only group calling for the budget reserves to go back to the people. “The government is taking money out of the private sector and holding onto it in cash for some rainy day” said Jeremy Munson. “In other words, there’s $2.4 Billion not in our economy, waiting for a day to be spent on more government. That’s wrong. All Republicans should be united on giving that back.”
Action 4 Liberty supports the Give It Back Act. There is no reason a Republican in the legislature should oppose giving back every penny of the $4 Billion budget surplus.
Rep Kurt Daudt (R-Spectacle Lake) and the Old House Republican Caucus announced their plan to spend, or retain in the government coffers, nearly $3 Billion of the $4 Billion budget surplus in Minnesota. A surplus is the amount of money that the state government has overtaxed us by. The vast majority of the surplus is sitting in a government reserve account. They announced tax relief of $1 Billion total and proposed expanding a refundable tax credit.
There are a few things to like about the plan they released like conforming with federal 179 deductions. They also want to permanently eliminate the state income tax on social security. But why are they calling for these things now when they're in the minority? And why are they doing it in a non-budget year when there is even less of a surplus? Action 4 Liberty has been calling for the elimination of social security for the past four years.
It's important to note that the Old House Republican Caucus is not willing to give all of the surplus back to taxpayers. Government is fully funded for two years (something that Tax chairman Davids admits in the press conference), yet they still want to spend $500 Million more on government spending.
Action 4 Liberty calls for the whole surplus to go right back to taxpayers. Not a dime more should be spent on government.
Senator Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) authored a bill that would ban private establishments from providing costumers with plastic straws unless they personally request one. Violators of this legislation (SF3595) would be fined $50 per illegal straw.
Abeler, who is well known as a very liberal Republican member, is joined by two metro Democrats on the bill: Sen John Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) and Sen John Marty (DFL-Roseville). The companion bill in the MN House has only Democrat authors.
Here's the language of the bill:
Action 4 Liberty opposes this bill. Private businesses already endure too much government regulation. This bill is the antithesis of freedom and free markets.
The ACLU of Minnesota tweeted support yesterday for the extremely controversial St Paul city resolution that made March 10th "Abortion Provider Appreciation Day". We covered the story yesterday at Action 4 Liberty, including footage of the video when all 7 council members voted for the extreme measure.
Here's the tweet:
It's sick to see a group which purports to believe in civil liberties, praise the work of humans who end the lives of unborn babies. How can the ACLU ignore the civil liberties of the human inside the womb?
Here's the resolution passed by the city earlier this week:
The St Paul City Council passed a resolution 7-0 yesterday recognizing March 10th as Abortion Providers Appreciation Day, according to the Pioneer Press. Four members of the City Council sponsored the resolution: Rebecca Noecker, Nelsie Yang, Dai Thao and Jane Prince.
Resolution 20-416 recognizes "March 10, 2020 as Abortion Providers Appreciation Day". Here's the text:
Here's video of the vote:
The largest abortion provider in Minnesota is Planned Parenthood which gets taxpayer funding through the passage of the Health & Human Services Omnibus bill at the state legislature. For more information about how your tax dollars funds Planned Parenthood and who is voting for it, click here.
A bill introduced in the Minnesota Senate by Sen Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) would ban legislators by law from registering as lobbyists until four years after they complete their time in office. SF 3216 states "A member of the legislature is prohibited from registering as a lobbyist for four years after the expiration of the last term for which the legislative member was elected." The House has a companion bill (HF2964) authored by Rep Cantrell (DFL-Savage).
Former Rep Nick Zerwas made news last December when he announced his sudden retirement, creating a taxpayer funded special election to fill his seat. Days before Christmas he tweeted that he took a job with a lobbying firm in Minnesota and in January he officially registered as a lobbyist. This move clearly violated Minnesota House rules that ban lobbying by former members for a year.
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, who leads the Old House Republican Caucus, took a job last year with a Washington D.C. lobbying firm. To skirt the house rules, Daudt didn't register as a lobbyist, instead his position of "Director of Public Affairs" advises registered lobbyists and makes connections for them at state capitols.
Sen Jensen's bill was referred to the State Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee. We'll keep you informed if the Senate takes further action.
Yesterday, the official Minnesota Secretary of State's website redirected voters to an ultra liberal website when they went to visit the "find my polling place" webpage. Users were sent to a D.C. based Progressive Change Campaign Committee called Bold Progressives - a group that endorsed Elizabeth Warren.
How on earth could something like this happen on a very important election day in Minnesota? It was the first presidential primary in a long time (Minnesota used to be a caucus state for presidential politics).
According to Secretary of State Steve Simon, the redirect occurred "in an urgent attempt to restore service, a staff person diverged from our emergency plan and, in a serious lapse of judgment, linked to a partisan website that contained polling place information."
What's even more concerning is that the website collects voter data. Imagine the thousands of Minnesotans who used the redirect to find where to vote and gave up their information to the liberal group.
If we believe the story from Simon, then the employee behind this should be fired. But we've heard nothing about the disciplinary action so far. Furthermore, how does someone with this kind of judgement get put in a position to manage a taxpayer funded, government official website?
Radical Democrats passed two anti-gun measures last night in the Minnesota House that would strip law abiding gun owners of fundamental rights. Universal Background Check legislation (HF8) passed on a 69-62 vote, with only a handful of rural Democrats voting with Republicans against it. Democrats in areas outside the metro like Rep Brad Tabke (DFL-Shakopee) supported the bill that would make it illegal for friends to loan a hunting shotgun to each other for a week of hunting.
Here's the vote:
Democrats also passed Red Flag legislation that paves the way for government to confiscate firearms of individuals without due process. HF9 creates in law a petition for an extreme risk protection order, which if issued, requires firearms to be taken from the individual. In other words, a person's constitutionally protect right to keep and bear arms can be taken without his or her day in court.
Here's the vote:
The Minnesota State Economist announced this morning that the state budget surplus, the amount of money the government overtaxed us by, has grown by a $181 Million. Governor Walz and the DFL House have a list of new spending projects lined up to spend the surplus on, while the Republican Senate wants to spend some and give back $1 Billion of the money.
What you aren't hearing about in the halls of the Capitol is that the state government is actually overtaxing us by a lot more than the $1.5 Billion figure stated in the MMB report. The state government is taking tax money from hardworking Minnesotans and putting it in a massive reserve account that tops $2.5 Billion. They're trying to trick us with money they stole from our pockets. This is money not being used for current spending.
Senate Republican Leader Paul Gazelka recently bragged about keeping the budget reserve account high. His caucus has not put forward a plan to give back that money to the private sector as of the date of this article. However, Rep Cal Bahr who is a member of the more conservative New House Republican Caucus, sent out an email to constituents claiming the amount in reserves is surplus funds and should be given back. His email was sent before the February Forecast was released today which is why his number is a little lower.
Action 4 Liberty calls for the entire $4 Billion to be returned to Minnesota taxpayers immediately. Senate Republicans need to lead on this issue and deliver something for the Republican base heading into an important election season.
One thing we noticed while analyzing the economic report today is that the "cash flow" account was added to the same line item as the "budget reserves". These are typically separate line items on the budget. Was this done purposely to mask how much money they are holding onto in a rainy day fund? The cash flow account is only $350 Million. Adding the two categories together gives the impression that a large amount of money is needed for current cash flow for government functions.