Senate Republicans Spend Most of Surplus
Minnesota legislators started the 2019 Legislative Session with a massive $4 Billion surplus. If they didn't spend a dime of new money on our bloated state government that wastes money on MNLARs fixes, Brazilian wood rest stops on I-35 and a fraudulent child care program, we taxpayers could have had a huge tax cut. Taxes on social security income could have been eliminated. The death tax could have been distinguished. And large tax reductions across the board could have been passed.
Instead, the Senate Republicans have spent about 85% of that surplus on more government according to the most recent budget negotiations with Democrats. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka was willing to spend an additional $200 Million of our surplus money to compromise with tax happy Governor Walz. His proposal out of the gate already spent the majority of the surplus, leaving only $800 Million for the Senate tax bill.
A budget surplus means that taxpayers have been overtaxed. The conservative belief is that money should be returned to taxpayers. But Gazelka and Republicans Senators seem determined to spend the money on more government.
Governor Walz and House Democrats take things to a whole new level. They blew through the budget surplus with new spending measures and want to increase taxes on top of that. At least, as of the writing of this article, it appears the Republican Senate isn't willing to compromise on the gas tax.
Action 4 Liberty remains focused on holding Republican Senators accountable. They keep telling us during election years that they believe in small government, but they don't actually do that once elected at the Capitol. We think you deserve better representation. Your taxes should be going down; not going towards more bloated government.
Only One Loser in Capitol Negotiations: YOU
We're less than two weeks away from the Legislature's mandatory adjournment and the negotiations between the Republican Senate and the Democrats is starting to heat up. On one hand, the Democrats have proposed ballooning the budget to nearly $49.5 Billion and increasing the gas tax and reinstating the 2% provider tax. On the other hand, Republicans have spent the majority of the budget surplus with their $48 Billion budget proposal, but have so far put their heals in the dirt on tax increases.
(Note: The Republican Senate did vote for a tax on insulin manufacturers and opiates)
Here are two offers on the table last night...At this point, the loser in the negotiations is YOU, the taxpayer. The budget surplus will not be returned to your pocket like it should because Republicans are already growing spending even more. Word on the street, is that the GOP likely will compromise on reinstating the provider tax so they can get their insurance company bailout bill passed (aka Reinsurance).
Action 4 Liberty believes Republican Senators should not follow the lead of Senator Gazelka and vote against all spending increases and taxes. It doesn't matter what deals are made with Governor Walz behind closed doors, each Senator can vote his or her conscience.
Will Our Gas Taxes Increase this Year?
Governor Walz and Democrats are pushing full steam ahead on their proposal to increase the state gasoline tax by 70 percent (or a 20 cents per gallon hike). Minnesota is listed as the Least Tax Friendly State according to Kiplinger. However, our gasoline tax is amongst the middle of the pack in comparison to the rest of the states in the country. The proposed hike would put us fourth worst, right behind Pennsylvania, California and Washington.
An average family would pay between $200-300 more per year under the Democrat proposal. Walz alleges the funds are needed to fix our roads & bridges, but billions of taxpayer money is being squandered on unwise fiscal projects in a bloated $48 Billion state budget. On top of that, Walz and legislators began the session facing a massive $4 Billion surplus, which all players at the Capitol have allocated towards other spending projects.
Republicans are in charge of the Senate, so we aren't we safe?
So far the Republican Senate has talked tough on the gasoline tax, stating that no tax increase will pass. However, the Senate's newest member, Jason Rarick (R - Pine City), stated multiple times on the campaign trail that he would be willing to compromise on a gas tax hike. Also, Senator Jim Abeler (R - Anoka) was one of a handful of Republicans who voted in favor of the previous gasoline tax increase during the Pawlenty years.
If Democrats are unified on the issue in the Senate, only two Republican defectors are needed for the gas tax to pass. Local 49 just launched a tv commercial campaign targeted at getting both Republican and Democrat districts on board. WATCH HERE.
Action 4 Liberty and our allies strongly oppose the gas tax increase. Republicans need to be unified against raising a dime of taxes. We will target any Republican who votes for this hurtful tax.
Help Us Stop the Child Care Fraud!
$100 Million of YOUR money is being stolen through the fraudulent child care program and sent in suitcases of cash to Somalia. Fraud of this magnitude should unite everyone in politics.
But Democrats allege that you are a racist or islamaphobic for wanting to shut down the program that takes our money and funds a terrorist group in Somalia. The DFL House funded the program again in the HHS Omnibus bill.
Republican Senators are not much better. They tell us they can't possibly end the funding for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Despite cutting the spending in fiscal year 2021 in their bill, they told our activists that they will be forced to vote for it before the end of session.
In other words, the one group of legislators who tell us every election year they believe in small government, are poised to fund the fraudulent program by another $250 Million of YOUR money!
We say: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! End the fraudulent child care program now!
That's why our teams of activists are out dropping lit, sending mailers, visiting the Capitol and making phone calls. We demand that the Republican Senate ends the fraud.
We promise to you to keep the pressure on the politicians who are enabling the fraud. Our activists are highly motivated and truly believe in the vision of a smaller, more responsible government.
But we can't do it alone. We need your help. Please consider making a gift to Action 4 Liberty today to help us get the message out even more.
$10 - to alert 20 voters in his district
$25 - to alert 50 voters in his district
$50 - to alert 100 voters in his district
$100 - to alert 200 voters in his district
$500 - to alert 1000 voters in his district
Thank you in advance for helping get the word out about this fraud.
HHS Omnibus Bill that Passed Republican Senate
The Minnesota Senate passed the Health and Human Services Omnibus bill (HF 2414) as amended in the early morning hours today, following a marathon session of debates. What's in the jumbo, multi-subject bill:
- The fraudulent Child Care Assistance Program is funded in FY2020, but funding is cut in FY2021
- The Medical Assistance program which is the vehicle for how Planned Parenthood gets our tax dollars is funded
- A tax on insulinmanufacturers is created (similar language to opiate tax that passed)
HERE'S THE LANGUAGE OF THE BILL
Action 4 Liberty believes that the fraudulent child care program should be defunded in FY2020. Government has no business paying for people's child care costs in the first place. But the program is full of fraud and we can't rely on a government bureaucracy to police its own program.
Here's the issue we have with the Senate Republicans fix on CCAP. Despite cutting funding next year for the program, that language could be cut from the HHS Omnibus bill in the conference committee process. Funding could also be re-established next year in a supplemental spending bill. We demand Senators to sign our pledgeto end the fraudulent child care program.
Radical Liberal Agenda Advances in Minnesota House
(Photo credit: MPR)
Last night the Democrats advanced their radical agenda in the Minnesota House despite Republican opposition. First, they passed a 20 cents gasoline tax which would increase the current tax by a whopping 70 percent. This would cost the average family between $200-300 more in taxes each year.
Democrats argue that a gas tax is needed to fund the current transporting spending gaps, but the Minnesota legislature is facing a massive $4 Billion budget surplus. They also have wasted over $100 Million on the broken MLARs system and there is rampant fraud in the state child care assistance program. Democrats have plenty of money to use for transportation if they would prioritize spending in the right areas.
The tax was tucked inside the Transportation Omnibus bill (HF 1555). Here's the vote:
Late in the evening, the Democrats passed two gun control measures inside of the Public Safety Omnibus bill (SF 802) that restrict our individual freedoms. The Red Flag confiscation provision allows law enforcement to take firearms away from people without due process if someone assesses them as a risk. Universal background checks requires all transfers and/or sales outside of immediate family members to go through a federal firearms licensed background check.
If the background check bill were to pass the Minnesota Senate, it would be illegal for you to loan your brother-in-law or friend a shotgun for a weekend hunting trip.
Here's the final vote on the Omnibus bill. It passed with 70-64 with five Democrats joining Republican opposition:
Action 4 Liberty opposes increasing taxes and expanding gun control measures on law abiding citizens. We believe that the Republican Senate must work diligently to advance the conservative agenda at the Capitol and not only play defense against the radical liberal agenda. That is the only way to start winning in policy arena.
Podcast #245 - Why So Many Bills Giving Money to Somalis?
On this episode of the Living Free Podcast, Jack and Jake discuss all the bills that Republican legislators are supporting that takes taxpayer money and gives it to Somali projects.
The Tale of Two Tax Schemes
First things first. Stop reading the mainstream media when it comes to budgets and tax policy in Minnesota. They want you to believe that Republicans and Democrats are worlds apart. Unfortunately, neither Governor Walz, the DFL House or the Senate Republicans have set forth a vision of smaller government.
Let's start with the least terrible plan: the Senate Republicans. Tax Chairman Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R - White Bear Lake) stood next to Majority Leader Sen. Paul Gazelka and proudly boasted on Wednesday that the Republican tax plan would reduce some taxes and have "no net impact on the Minnesota budget".
No net impact? Republicans who constantly talk about a vision of smaller government and less taxes should be aiming for a net reduction of the budgetspurred from massive tax cuts like ending the tax on social security, eliminating the estate tax and getting rid of the 2013 DFL tax hikes. Instead, they target a modest drop in the marginal tax rate of 7.05% (down to 6.80%). And shield some of the income of social security from taxation.
It appears the Senate Republicans are satisfied with keeping the status quo of Minnesota being the least tax friendly state in the nation. In totality, the amount of money removed from government coffers via their plan is only $800 Million, which means they used the rest of the $4 Billion surplus for new government spending. What a scheme they are running. Say you believe in smaller government at election time, then grow government during the legislative session.
Prediction: You'll be guilted into voting Republican in 2020 because they aren't as bad as the Democrats. We suggest you remember that the lesser of two evils is still evil. You should not put up with this awful performance by Republicans.
Now onto the Democrat tax vision. Both Gov Walz and the DFL House appear hell-bent on taking more of our money. One would likely believe their focus would be on the uber wealthy, but a recent article by the Star Tribune perfectly explains who is harmed: lower income folks.
According to an analysis by the Minnesota Dept of Revenue, lower income Minnesotans would see a 10% increase in taxation. This should surprise no one since Walz' proud policy initiative is to increase the state gasoline tax by 70%. That tax is regressive and could easily add up to $300 per household annually.
On top of that, the Democrats want to keep the expiring 2% health provider tax which is tax on the sick. Walz and the DFL House also want to tax multinational corporations doing business in Minnesota more through a repatriation tax. This move would bring $361 Million more dollars into greedy bureaucratic hands. And they also want a 12.85% tax on capital gains over $500k and freeze the estate tax threshold at $2.7 Million according to the Tax Foundation's analysis.
The Democrat tax plan would raise taxes by $1.4 Billion in the next two years which helps fund their massive $50 Billion budget. We can think of no better scheme perpetrated on the taxpayers of Minnesota than a bunch of politicians who start a legislative session facing a budget surplus, then end up taxing us even more.
This is the tale of the two tax schemes at the Capitol. The mainstream Minnesota media will continue perpetuating this lie that the two parties are worlds apart. But truth be known, you taxpayers are guaranteed to face high taxes for another two years under the power of the current tenants occupying our Capitol building.
Action 4 Liberty's mission is to build a freedom team at the Capitol who fight tooth and nail to expand individual freedoms and reduce government control. We want Minnesota to be a top 10 state for business which means our fighters will work to radically reduce the taxes you pay, while decreasing the size and scope of government.
MN House Wants to Regulate Your Fantasy Football
A bill is up for a vote today in the Minnesota House that would create imposing regulations on people who operate fantasy football games. HF1415authored by Tony Albright (R-55B) would require "game operators offering a fantasy game with an entry fee in this state" to comply with newly created regulations.
Among some of the regulations included in the bill are a prohibition for fantasy game operators from playing in their own game; how winners can be selected; and forbidding athletes in the sport to participate in that league. Recently, Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler made news that he joined a fans NBA fantasy league. It appears this would have been illegal under the new law.
Fantasy football is a growing trend and is widely enjoyed by Minnesota sports fans. Action 4 Liberty believes that government should stay out of the regulation of private sector activity that involves people voluntarily conducting commerce with one another. We will score votes on this bill.
Republicans Sign On to Bills Giving Millions to Somali Programs
(Picture shows Sen Jim Abeler of Anoka. Photo credit: Star Tribune)
A group of bills were introduced in the Minnesota legislature this session that would appropriate money to specific ethnic groups, paid for by the rest of state taxpayers. These bills received overwhelming DFL support, but several Republicans have signed on and some, were even chief authored by Republicans.
HF 543- Somali arts and cultural heritage program funding provided, and money appropriated.This bill was originally coauthored by Reps Dave Baker (R - Willmer) and Dean Urdahl (R - Grove City). It's Senate companion bill, SF 658, was originally authored by Sen David Senjem (R - Rochester) and coauthored by Sen Andrew Lang (R - Olivia). Baker and Urdahl have since removed their names in the House and Senjem and Lang dropped off in the Senate.
HF 463- African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS) grant funding provided, and money appropriated.This bill is coauthored by Rep Rod Hamilton (R - Mountain Lake). It's companion bill, SF 216, is coauthored by Jason Rarick (R - Pine City).
SF 1027- East African community economic development pilot program establishment and appropriation.This bill is authored by Sen Jerry Relph (R - St Cloud).
All added up, a total of $8 Million of taxpayer money would be appropriated in the upcoming biennium if these three bills were passed.
The bills are similar in nature to a bill authored by Senators Jim Abeler (R - Anoka) and Jerry Ralph last year which would have established a Somali Community Development Programfor $18 Million.
Democrat legislators are the main muscle behind these bills. They often use identity politics in order to cater to blocks of potential voters. However, its a mystery why so many Republicans have signed on to bills that unequally send money to specific ethnic groups at the taxpayers' expense. These types of bills are usually rejected by conservatives.
Action 4 Liberty believes in equality under the law. Legislators should not carve out benefits to specific ethnic groups. All Minnesotans are equal under the scope of our laws and thus should not be entitled to special programs or benefits; nor prohibited from them as well.