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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Shane Mekeland (R)

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Bills with serious flaws moving through House

Monday, April 22, 2019


By Rep. Shane Mekeland

House Democrat bills to raise taxes by more than $12 billion, increase our energy rates and allow criminals of the worst kind to be in contact with vulnerable citizens are just some of the ill-advised proposals they have launched.

Here is a quick summary:

In omnibus finance bills that will shape our state’s next budget, Democrats propose raising our taxes by over $12 billion over the next four years, revealing once again a lack of priorities and a never-ending thirst for spending taxpayer dollars.

Tax increases Democrats propose would raise the costs of health care, gas (20 cents more per gallon), and countless other everyday goods and services. Oh, and at the same time, their health and human services bill cuts funding for nursing homes … at a time the state has a $1 billion surplus. Not only that, as if our government weren’t already bloated, they are looking to create hundreds of new full-time state employees.

The bill on health and human services bill brings back a tax on health care and cuts funding for our nursing homes.

In an omnibus jobs/energy bill, Democrats propose significant new spending on renewable energy projects that will end up costing Minnesotans more on their energy bills. It would establish a 100-percent carbon-free standard by 2050, place a moratorium on the construction of fossil fuel facilities, and electrify all sectors of the economy currently powered by fossil fuels and more. The same bill includes a paid family/medical leave program includes an estimated $1.6 billion in new taxes and 400 new, full-time state employees.

Not all of the bills we are discussing relate to finances. For example, Democrats approved a bill which would allow people convicted of horrific crimes to work with our most vulnerable citizens. People convicted of murder, drive-by-shooting, felony-level stalking, child abuse, and solicitation of children to engage in sexual conduct would be eligible to work as personal care attendants, providers of home and community-based care services for Minnesotans with disabilities, adult day services, non-emergency medical transportation drivers, and more.

Yes, that’s right, the Democrats voted to pass a bill which allows people who have committed some of the worst crimes imaginable to work with some of our most vulnerable citizens. There aren’t even any rehabilitation requirements included. The Democrats have appeared rudderless all session, but this new level of recklessness is completely unacceptable and calls into question just how out of whack their priorities are if they willingly expose vulnerable citizens to risk.

Democrats also have been working a bill requiring the state to issue non-compliant (non-Real ID) driver’s licenses and state ID cards to undocumented immigrants. This is a bad idea that could create significant public safety problems.

As it moved through the process, the bill has included a provision where “not for voting” language would be featured on these IDs. What is the purpose of indicating these undocumented immigrant IDs are not for voting when IDs are not a requirement at the polls?

House Democrats also are advancing bills to restrict gun rights for law-abiding citizens. But, instead of bringing them to the floor as stand-alone bills to be voted up or down on their own merits, the bills H.F. 8 (background checks) and H.F. 9 (red flags) in an omnibus public safety bill.

I will continue working to oppose these and other bad bills in the House. We need more common sense, respect for the taxpayer and defense of our Constitutional rights at the Capitol and that is where I am placing my focus.


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