Debt Bill Fails to Pass Senate

The Minnesota Senate failed to pass its massive debt bill today that would add $825 Million on the state credit card. HF4404, known as the Capital Investment bill, is a bonding bill that requires a 60% majority in order to pass. The vote was a strict party line vote of 34 to 33, failing to get the 41 needed votes for passage.

Democrats voted against the bill because they didn't think the debt bill was large enough. An amendment was voted down prior to the final vote that would've adopted the projects Governor Dayton wanted to see in a bonding bill. These projects would've brought the bill's final price tag to $1.5 Billion.

Action 4 Liberty opposes adding any more debt spending after government spending already grew by 9.5% this biennium. On top of that, the bill was full of pork projects that are wasting tax dollars. The bill was scored on


Dayton Holds Taxpayers Hostage

Governor Dayton is holding Minnesota taxpayers hostage by threatening to veto the Republican tax bill if the Legislature does not provide $138 Million to bail out a handful of school districts around the state. As it stands right now, the only thing necessary for the Legislature and Governor to do this session is to pass a tax conformity bill that would save Minnesota taxpayers severe headaches and money next year when they file their state taxes. Under current law, the state income tax forms do not conform with the new federal forms created with the Trump tax cuts.

The state faces a $329 Million surplus which in part is due to the new federal tax cuts. Both the House and Senate have passed their own tax bills, with the Senate bill ensuring 99% of Minnesotans don't see a tax hike. The two tax bills are currently being worked out in a joint conference committee. The deadline to pass laws is midnight on Sunday.

Dayton's threat is as extreme as it comes. If there is no tax conformity bill, millions of Minnesota tax filers will suffer and pay. Meanwhile, Dayton is asking those same taxpayers to bail out school districts who didn't responsibly manage their own budgets.

Action 4 Liberty believes the Legislature should send Dayton the tax bill immediately and refuse to pass any spending bill until its signed into law. Republicans should not cave to Mark Dayton.

Republicans Who Love Debt

The Republican controlled House passed a massive debt bill today by a vote of 84-39. Only four Republican legislators voted against the $825 Million package that would send our state further into debt, with Rep Jeremy Munson being the only one to speak against the bill on the House floor.

Despite facing a $329 Million budget surplus, Republican legislators have decided to spend the majority of that money and add more spending in the form of debt. Spending projects in the bill range from important infrastructure updates to pork projects that are wasting millions of dollars of taxpayer money.

Action 4 Liberty opposes adding more debt to the state credit card. Good projects that end up in the bonding bills should be appropriated from the general funds account.


Minnesota's Surplus Likely Grows


The Minnesota Management & Budget Office released a memoyesterday stating that the state brought in an additional $252 Million more in revenue than projected for the month of April. Revenues are usually high in April due to the tax deadline, but the $2.453 Billion total was 11% more that what was projected in the February forecast used by the Governor and the Legislature in determining budget resources for the legislative session.

Minnesota currently has a fully funded 2-year budget. So any extra revenues by the government signifies that Minnesotans have been overtaxed. Governor Dayton will likely use this report to call for funding of his largest priority: fixing the financial insolvency of several Minnesota school districts.

The big question is what will the Republican legislature do with these numbers? Common sense would suggest that they give all back to Minnesota taxpayers. The tax cut bill in the House only has $107 Million in tax relief; they should make it $359 Million in tax cuts. But the track record of Speaker Daudt is to spend on more government. Contact your legislator today and tell him or her to give it back!


MN Senate Creates New Fee and Adds Gov't Program

"It's for the children" claim the authors of a bill that passed the Minnesota Senate today. No one is denying that there is a problem in our society with the abuse of opiate drugs, but the Minnesota Senate today thinks government is the solution.

Sen Rosen's bill, SF730, creates a fee for manufacturers of opiate drugs, most commonly used for pain management. It also establishes a new government program tasked to solve the problem of abuse.

The problem with the bill is several fold. Government keeps adding more and more costs to the health care industry, thus creating ever rising prices. Assessing fees to drug companies will eventually be passed on to consumers. That affects anyone who may need to be prescribed pain medications for things ranging from post c-section surgery to chronic joint paint.

Furthermore, if creating government programs to combat drug abuse actually worked, then we wouldn't need to worry about meth, cocaine or heroine. Those drugs have billions of dollars of taxpayer money used to combat them.

Action 4 Liberty opposes increasing taxes and fees or growing the government bureaucracy. We scored the bill today.


MN Legislature Prioritizes Debt & Spending

A recent economic report indicated that Minnesota is facing a $329 Million budget surplus. The common sense thing to do with a surplus is to return it back to taxpayers who were overcharged. But the Minnesota Legislature has prioritized spending instead of tax cuts. The House wants to spend $222 Million of general funds revenue, while returning only $107 Million in tax relief. In the other chamber, the Senate wants to provide $168 Million in relief while keeping $161 Million in the hands of government.

But this is only a portion of the narrative. There's $58 Million in excess reserves for the Vikings Stadium Fund, that will likely grow to about $100 Million by the end of next year. The MN House wants to use that money for new Veterans homes in Preston, Montevideo and Bemidji.

On top of all that, the House and Senate have released the details of their debt bills (aka bonding). Both chambers want to add $825 Million of debt on the state credit card. These bills include funding for roads, bridges and other key infrastructure. But then add millions of dollars of pork to include:

  • $95.4 Million to the University of Minnesota
  • $6.5 Million to put solar panels on the University of Mankato and other renovations
  • $3 Million for the Minnesota Zoo Garden!
  • $1 Million for Amateur sports center in Blaine
  • $2.5 Million dollar bus garage in Rochester
  • $2 Million dollar pedestrian/Bike bridgein the city of Rogers (pop. 11,000)
  • $10 Million to the unelected Met Council to build parks and trails as they want
  • $2.5 Million to build facilities for a park on Lake Waconia
  • $2 Million for swimming pool in New Hope
  • $3 Million Nature Sanctuary Visitor Center
  • $4.4 Million White Bear Lake trail around the White Bear Lake
  • $18 Million for Brooklyn Park to build a food shelf
  • $5 Million for Duluth trails
  • $12 Million for Minneapolis to redevelop a Harbor Terminal for the public
  • $4.4 Million community center in Perham (pop. 3,000)
  • $3 Million for a food shelf in Crookston (pop. 7,900)
  • $5 Million St. Paul River Centre parking lot
  • $5.5 Million Southeast Asian Language Job Training Facility
  • $8.1 Million for Wabasha to expand the Eagle Center
  • $5 Million dollar open air stage in Waite Park
  • $18 Million to renovate one visitor building (#18) in Fort Snelling
  • $26 Million for airports
  • $18 Million to expand remote trails at some rural state parks
  • $750,000 pedestrian bridge in Grand Rapids
  • $6 Million St Paul MN Museum of American Art
  • Tens of million in trails:
    • $200k for a bluff lands trail by the Iowa border
    • $2.5 Million for a Chester Woods trail outside Rochester
    • $1.3 Million for a recreation area in Babbitt
    • $2.5 Million for third part of a trail in La Crescent

Thanks to Washington County Watchdogs for digging into the details of the bill.

In totality, the fiscal record for the GOP when facing a $329 Million surplus is:

Keep in mind, all of the above spending figures are the GOP proposals. In the last week and a half of the session, Dayton will negotiate with the Legislature and the final numbers will likely be $400 - 600 Million higher.

GOP Senate Adds Regulations & Training Requirements for Hotels


The Minnesota Senate voted unanimously for a bill authored by Sen Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) that would expand regulations on the hotel industry. The bill, SF3637, requires "every person, firm, or corporation that operates a hotel or motel in Minnesota" to receive sex trafficking training "approved by the Commissioner" within 90 days of employment.

Action 4 Liberty opposes adding new government regulations on the private sector, especially ones that increase the cost of doing business. Companies should be free to create and conduct their own sex trafficking training.

The bill also fails the constitutional test of "single subject" as it contains language about immunization documentation and reporting of autism spectrum. For these stated reasons, Action 4 Liberty scored the bill.



MN Senate Passes Tax Conformity & Relief Bill

The Minnesota Senate passed their version of a federal tax conformity bill that reduces taxes by $168 Million for Minnesota taxpayers. The Senate took up the House tax bill and amended it to include their language which provides more tax relief. HF4385as amended by the Senate passed on a 34-32 vote.

Action 4 Liberty scored this bill favorably because it reduces the amount of resources that government takes out of the pockets of Minnesotans. However, we feel the Senate and House should have given back all $329 Million of the budget surplus instead of spending a large part of it.


Legislators Reveal Debt Spending Bill

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.


MN House Passes Multi Subject Bill That Grows Spending

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 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.