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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Sondra Erickson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Sondra Erickson

Friday, April 12, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Blessings to you and your loved ones this Easter time.

As I ponder what happens here in St. Paul, I realize that the vast majority of people are looking to politics, science, and education for the solution to life’s problems, and not to Jesus Christ.

It was the resurrection of Christ that caused the disciples to go out to change the world of their day. They preached that Christ was alive and this should be our message, not only at Easter but every day of the year. The risen Christ wants to come into our hearts today. I pray you are able to find time to meditate on God’s most perfect gift this Easter.

Closing Light Rail Loophole

On Monday, the House approved legislation that addresses a loophole in state law that exempts light rail train operators from the reckless driving statute.

This bill was in response to a tragic accident that took place a few years ago when a car was struck by a light rail train that had run a red light. It was proven that the train operator was at fault for the accident, however, they could not be prosecuted due to this loophole in state law.

The legislation that was passed on Monday adds light rail train operators to the reckless and careless driving law provisions that apply to motor vehicle drivers. If future tragedies occur involving light rail trains, operators will now be able to be held criminally liable if found guilty.

Final Passage of Hands-Free Bill

On Tuesday, a bill banning drivers from holding cellphones and other wireless communication devices while behind the wheel achieved final passage in the House on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 107-19.

Over the years, it has become clear that steps need to be taken to ensure that folks pay less attention to their phones and more attention to the road while they are driving. I voted in favor of the bill and while it’s not a perfect piece of legislation, I do believe that it will help save lives.

House DFL Introduces Tax Bill

This week, House DFLers introduced their 2019 omnibus tax bill. Their tax bill raises an incredible amount of money over the 2020-21 and 2022-23 biennium with tax increases topping more than $4 billion over those four years.

Most of the tax increases are aimed at businesses.

Since introducing the legislation on Monday, Democrats have spent a lot of time touting “tax cuts” in the bill. What they’ve been ignoring are all the tax increases in the bill that will increase consumer prices, reduce wages, and make life more expensive for Minnesotans.

This tax bill is just another indication of Democrats’ intention to raise taxes on Minnesota families. In fact, across the entirety of their proposed state budget, Democrats are proposing more than $12 billion in tax increases over the next four years. These increases will make health care, gas, and other everyday goods and services more expensive. At a time when Minnesota has a $1 billion surplus, this level of tax increases is totally unnecessary and excessive.

Staying in Touch

That’s all for this week’s update. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns regarding a matter related to state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-6746 or via email at

Have a great weekend,