Leaders of the Minnesota Legislature just held a press conference to discuss their plan to hold a legislative session under the COVID-19 outbreak. Senator Majority Leader Gazelka and Speaker Hortman proclaimed that legislative leaders, including Minority Leaders Rep Kurt Daudt and Sen Susan Kent, have three priorities for the remainder of the session:
1. Funding bill for hospitals (possibly $100 Million)
2. Passing omnibus debt bill (bonding bill)
3. Bipartisan bills (not particularly dealing with COVID-19)
Neither Republican or Democrat leaders mentioned giving back the $4 Billion surplus immediately to taxpayers to help Minnesotans during these financial uncertainties. When asked by the media, they also had no answer on whether or not there will be an extension to tax deadlines for Minnesota filers.
It appears the intent of the legislative leaders right now is to continue withholding funds from the citizens of Minnesota so that government can use them instead of families. Action 4 Liberty believes it is vitally critical for our legislature to give back the money we've been overtaxed so that families can make it through the financial hardships we're about to face.
Governor Tim Walz proposes keeping the $4 Billion surplus in the government coffers citing concerns over potential emergency needs due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Currently the state of Minnesota is holding onto a record surplus and budget reserves that equates to $1,000 per taxpayer.
Walz' proposal is to spend $256 Million on new spending programs and retain billions of dollars in government accounts, according to KSTP.
In this climate, it seems the prevailing wisdom from politicians in St Paul is that it's more important for government to hold onto our money than for families to have it back in their pockets. However, Rep Jeremy Munson authored the Give It Back Act last week that would issue refund checks to Minnesota taxpayers up to $1,000 per individual, $2,000 per couple. Five other Republican legislators have signed onto the legislation in the House.
Minnesota families are about to experience significant financial disruptions in their lives. Schools are closing, meaning parents will either have to take leave with their jobs or hire child care providers to watch their kids. All the industries connected to travel and sports are going to have massive layoffs. And those who depend on income from securities tied to market performance, will be taking big pay cuts as the stock market loses value.
So what is the argument for government to have our money in this crisis? If there was ever a time for government to give back the surplus and extend the tax filing period, now is that time.
SIGN OUR PETITION and tell Governor Walz and politicians in St Paul to give us our $1,000 back now!
Two Republican legislators filed an ethics complaint in the Minnesota House today regarding Rep Kurt Daudt's employment with a D.C. lobbying firm according to Alpha News. Rep Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa) and Rep Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) released the following statement:
“Leadership matters. Over a year ago, we formed the New House Republican Caucus because Rep. Kurt Daudt had a long history of failed, dishonest, and unethical leadership. Rep. Daudt’s recent acceptance of a high-powered job with a multinational corporate lobbying firm, while continuing to serve and vote in the Minnesota House of Representatives, demonstrates a total lack of ethical behavior.
Rep. Daudt is a lobbyist for Stateside Associates. This firm represents many corporate interests involved in all sectors of our economy. As a result, Rep. Daudt is inevitably casting votes on behalf of his influential clients. In Minnesota, legislators are barred from received lobbyist gifts worth over $5. However, Rep. Daudt is unabashedly taking what is likely a very substantial salary from Stateside Associates.
Furthermore, our offices are now getting calls from lobbyists with Washington D.C.based Stateside Associates. In all our years of serving in the Minnesota Legislature, we have never once received a call from a Stateside Associates lobbyist until Rep. Daudt started working for them. Rep. Daudt is trying his hardest to pump swamp water from Washington D.C. directly into Minnesota. This must stop.
We believe that Rep. Daudt has most assuredly betrayed the public trust and has brought dishonor and disrepute upon the Minnesota House of Representatives. As such, we have sent a letter to the Speaker of the House requesting a full ethics investigation into Rep. Daudt’s deliberately exercised ethical conflict. An ethics investigation is a commonsense measure to ensure the integrity of our government.
The people of Minnesota deserve competent leaders. These individuals must be independent, acting in the best interest of the people, and ethical.
In addition to standing up for true conservative values, we formed the New House Republican Caucus to reintroduce honesty and transparency into the Minnesota Legislature. All legislators, regardless of political allegiance, must be held to the high ethical standards that the public expects from its leaders.”
Below is an exhibit from the ethics complaint that shows Stateside Associates calling Rep Cal Bahr's office to lobby him on a bill.
Families all across Minnesota are starting to face the reality that the coronavirus outbreak is going to alter their daily lives and impact them financially. Several employers in the state are signaling towards extended leave for workers. The University of Minnesota has closed down classes until April. And major sporting venues will no longer allow fans at the games. On top of that, school districts are considering shutting down which would force many parents to leave work to take care of their children.
All of this is happening while legislators at the Capitol are sitting on $4 Billion of our tax money.
The Republicans and Democrat proponents of large government tell us that now, more than ever, is a reason for the state to have a massive reserve account and be careful about giving back the surplus. But that is the exact opposite of what we need right now...more money out of our pocket.
Even President Trump has signaled towards a payroll tax holiday and delaying the tax filing schedule for Americans in response to the outbreak. Of course the Swamp is not on board with that plan.
Why is Senator Paul Gazelka, Republican Majority Leader in Minnesota, not on board with us getting our $1,000 back of the surplus. So far his statements on the surplus is that he wants to give only $1 billion back and keep the $2.4 Billion reserves at record levels. In other words, he wants to keep our money for future spending.
Tell Paul Gazelka that we want our money back. Families in Minnesota are going to struggle and its wrong for government to hold on to our money. Tell him to sign on to Rep Jeremy Munson's Give it Back Act immediately so we all can get $1,000 refunds from the massive $4 Billion surplus.
Sen Paul Gazelka
Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey declared March 10th "Abortion Providers Appreciation Day". His proclamation follows a move made by the St Paul City Council last week that passed a resolution honoring the work of abortion providers and making March 10th their day.
Frey's proclamation was done to honor a local abortion provider, Whole Woman's Health, and coincided with a case being heard in the Supreme Court.
“Every day, abortion providers like Whole Woman’s Health deliver high quality care in the face of harassment and threats to abortion access at the federal and local levels,” Frey told WCCO. “I’m proud to recognize today as Abortion Provider Appreciation Day to celebrate Whole Woman’s Health as an essential part of our community.”
Here's Frey's tweet about Abortion Providers Day:
Democrat attempts to pass two gun control measures fails in the Senate Judiciary committee this afternoon. Sen Ron Latz proposed two amendments that restrict gun rights. One is commonly referred to as the Red Flag law and would allow law enforcement to take away firearms of citizens without due process. The other amendment was universal background checks that makes it illegal for friends to loan each other a shotgun for a week of hunting.
The next attempt by anti-gun Democrats will be amending omnibus bills on the Senate floor in the final days of the legislative session. We'll keep you informed when these bills come up.
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.