The Minnesota House released its debt spending bill (also known as a bonding bill or "capitol investment" bill) today. On top of passing a massive $46 Billion budget last year, the largest in Minnesota's history, Republican legislators want to add $825 Million in debt on the state credit card.
Rep Dean Urdahl (R-18A) revealed HF4404this morning, highlighting the bill's intended purpose of maintaining "public infrastructure". The bill would issue debt on the backs of Minnesota taxpayers to fund several road projects, water treatment projects, public land acquisition by the DNR, a building for a private charity, money for the Minnesota zoo, money for higher education, money for a National Eagle Center, and much more.
Action 4 Liberty opposes adding debt to the state credit card. The good projects in the bill should be appropriated using general funds (money collected by the government through current revenue sources). We will score this bill and ask legislators to vote no.
On Tuesday, the Minnesota House passed the Health & Human Services and Transportation Omnibus bill (HF3138) on a vote of 82 to 43. The bill increases spending by $100 Million, taking up about one third of the projected budget surplus funds. The bill received overwhelming support from the Republican majority. Two Republicans broke ranks and voted against the bill: Rep Steve Drazkowski and Rep Jeremy Munson.
Action 4 Liberty was opposed to this bill and added the vote to mnscorecard.com. This bill is unconstitutional based on Article 4, Section 17's "single subject" rule. Furthermore, the state is currently operating under a two-year budget that fully funds government. A4L believes there is no need to spend a dime more. The budget surplus should be returned to taxpayers.
On Monday, the Minnesota House passed a bill that would conform Minnesota's tax laws to the federal tax cuts, thus providing $107 Million of tax relief to Minnesotans. Rep David's tax bill (HF4385) passed on vote of 90 to 38. If the Legislature didn't act, Minnesota taxpayers would face a nightmare come tax filing period next year when the Dept of Revenue would require a separate tax form to use as its basis for levying taxes.
We score bills positively that reduce the amount of resources that go to government coffers, instead staying in the hands of individuals and businesses. Action 4 Liberty would have liked to see the bill go further though. The state faces a $329 Million budget surplus, which we called for all of it to be returned to Minnesota taxpayers. This bill only accounts for a third of that amount.
On Thursday evening, the Minnesota Senate held a long floor session to debate the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (SF3656). After passing a two-year budget bill last year that fully funded government, the Minnesota Senate voted for a massive garbage bill that grows spending using additional funds from the budget surplus. The bill which has multiple subjects in it, fails the constitutional test of "single subject" according to Article 4, Section 17.
Action 4 Liberty scored the vote, which came down to a strict party line vote. All Republicans voted for the spending bill.
Also, Sen Ron Latz introduced an amendment to the bill during debate that would've expanded regulations on private citizens who seek to transfer or sell firearms to other individuals. This extreme bill would require Minnesotans to keep record of transferring firearms for the purpose of hunting if an individual loans his firearm to another person for longer than 12 hours.
The Amendment was ruled "not germane" by the President of the Senate and Latz challenged the ruling. A "Yes" vote was in favor of the President's ruling and the right vote to take for liberty. Action 4 Liberty scored the vote.
The MN House just passed the Education Omnibus Spending bill (HF4328) that increases spending by $30 Million. Last year, the Legislature passed a two-year budget that fully funded state government, but Republicans decided to take the majority of the $329 Million surplus and spend it on more government. This bill was the first of many bills that will spend the surplus money.
Action 4 Liberty did appreciate the provisions in the bill that increase school safety, but wanted to see the funds re-appropriated from other areas of the budget that passed last year, instead of spending new money. Republicans campaigned on a platformof shrinking government. The entire budget surplus should have been returned to taxpayers, not spent .
Two Republican legislators, Rep Munson and Rep Drazkowski voted against the spending bill. All other votes against the bill came from DFL members who felt the spending wasn't enough. Action 4 Liberty scored this bill.
Despite campaigningon a platform of shrinking government, Speaker Kurt Daudt and Republican leaders at the Capitol refuse to give backthe $329 Million Minnesota taxpayers were overcharged, opting instead to spend nearly 70% of it on more government. The House released a figureof $107 Million it planned to give back in tax relief. There are currently no specifics on who would receive the tax relief.
Action 4 Liberty and activists across the state called for the entire surplus to be returned to taxpayers and not one dime more spent on new government spending. The state government is currently operating under a two-year budget that was passed last year.
On top of spending an additional $222 Million of general funds, Republican Leadership in St Paul is also looking to add an additional $825 Million of spending as debt on the state credit card.
Make sure to share your disapproval of this budget proposal with your legislator and ask them to vote against these omnibus bills that grow government.
We keep hearing on the campaign trail from Republican leaders that government is too big, but when push comes to shove, it seems like they always end up growing it even bigger. Now Minnesota is faced with an excellent opportunity to shrink the size of government by conforming to the new Trump Tax cuts, but word on the street is that Speaker Kurt Daudt wants to go the other direction and grow government.
If you aren't aware, odd years in the Legislature are meant to be budget years. Last year, the Legislature increased the two-year budget by 9.5%, a whopping $4 Billion of growth. This session, the Legislature is supposed to focus on policy changes, but they have come across almost $700 million more dollars in tax revenue than original projects due to Trump’s federal tax changes (which currently don't align with Minnesota tax laws). Thousands of Minnesota taxpayers are paying more in taxes.
You are being over taxed!!
The February economic forecast projected a $329 Million budget surplus. In other words, the government is overtaxing you by a lot of money. The $329 Million Budget surplus should be returned to the taxpayers,not spent.
Unfortunately, Republican Kurt Daudt is caving to Mark Dayton and looking to spend it on more government, more wasteful projects and more pork. The Legislature should not spend one more dime of taxpayer money this year. State government is already operating under a bloated two-year budget.
Call your legislator today and tell them to give the surplus back and reduce spending. Don't cave to liberal Governor Mark Dayton and Speaker Kurt Daudt.
A bill introduced by Rep Jerry Hertaus (R - Loretto) would reduce marginal income tax rates for Minnesota taxpayers by up to 18% (HF3811). Tax policy is a big issue this year at the State Capitol due to the passing of the federal tax law. Currently, if the legislature does not pass any new law, Minnesota tax filers will have to file additional forms with the MN Department of Revenue and some will have to pay more in taxes. Efforts are moving through both the House and Senate to conform to the new tax law.
Hertaus' bill would cut all marginal tax rates, giving taxpayers across the board a reduction. Here's a sample of the cuts for married couples filling jointly:
(1) On the first $35,480 , 5.35 percent;
(2) On all over $35,480 , but not over $140,960 , 7.05 percent;
(3) On all over $140,960 , but not over $250,000 , 7.85 percent;
(4) On all over $250,000 , 9.85 percent.
(Note: underlined numbers represent the new change to the current law)
HF3811 has five coauthors, including the chairs of the two House Tax Committees. Action 4 Liberty has added this bill to our watchlist on mnscorecard.comand calls upon House Leadership to pass the bill.
The companion bill in the MN Senate is authored by Sen Roger Chamberlain, chair of the Senate Tax Committee.
Governor Dayton on Tuesday pledged to veto the House version of the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS) fix. On Monday, a Senate bill and House bill both passed that contained a one time appropriation of $10 Million to keep the project going. The Dayton administration stated it would need $43 Million to complete the project that already cost taxpayers $93 Million and was suppose to be working last summer.
The major difference between the House and Senate version is where the money comes from. Both GOP bills take money from current appropriations, with the Senate bill getting the money from a reserve account. However, the House bill goes outside of the agency and gets the $10 Million from the Dayton Administration's budget.
Governor Dayton is a typical politician who wants no accountability. After wasting massive amounts of taxpayer money, it's only prudent for his Administration to bear the costs. We encourage Republicans in the Conference Committee to hold strong on this issue. If Dayton vetoes the bill, he will have to own this problem for the last year of his time as Governor.
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.