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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Erik Mortensen (R)

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Saturday, May 15, 2021



It is the last full week of our regularly scheduled session and we have yet to pass PPP loan, or unemployment forgiveness, and most importantly we have not even had a substantial discussion of the budget. As I have said this entire year, our lives are dictated by political leadership. Governor Walz, Senate Majority Leader Gazelka, and Speaker Hortman will sit down in a room and hash the budget out without input from elected officials. Not once have we actually gone through the budget and debated where spending should be on the floor; just like any business looking at what they have for the upcoming year. In fact, myself and every other rank and file member has been given zero opportunity to provide feedback. 

This process of creating a budget disgusts me, it's the farthest away from a responsible process with many differing viewpoints. Ironically, this is the status quo in Democratically controlled states, and guess who we resemble most? New York and California. New York's infamous “3 men in a room” closely resembles how we do business in St Paul. In New York, it left all of these politicians either behind bars or out of politics for good. 

It’s getting more likely by the day that we will go into another state shutdown because we cannot pass a budget. Minnesota voters should be demanding to know why, and the truth may be difficult to swallow. Your state Rep doesn’t have a voice. The one thing we are constitutionally obligated to do is decided by the Governor, the Majority leader of the Senate, and Speaker of the House. Does that sound like a Representative Government to you?

You can watch my weekly video update below.



Should Recreational Marijuana be Legal in MN?

That very question was before the body of the house last night as we debated HF0600 sponsored by Majority Leader Representative Winkler. This bill went through 13 committees and 9 versions. It was debated on the floor for over 6 hours and ultimately passed out of the House.  The Senate has already announced they do not intend on even touching the bill this year. Even so, I am proud to have taken part in the discussion and to have voted for it in the end. This bill needs a lot of work to be in the shape I would like it but nonetheless this bill would expand our current medical Marijuana program to include the cannabis flower (which is less expensive for patients who need it), and would make recreational Majiuana legal with some limitations . Even though the bill creates new government agencies to oversee it, which I do not support, it also uses the experiences from other states to save us from their mistakes. 

As a follower of the Austrian school of economics, I believe that savings build wealth.  I am not a fan of high taxes because it prevents the lowest income earners from building wealth. This bill would tax the sale of Cannabis but at 10%; 20% lower than California and Colorado. The reason is that Winkler, for all our disagreements, realized that high taxes simply lead to an increase in the black market for Marjiuana. Meaning people still purchase it illegally because they can buy it much cheaper. 

As a parent, I understand the opposition to this bill. We want to set a good example for our kids and many who oppose this bill will say it creates the appearance of Government approval. I find that argument childish. If you let the government dictate how you raise your children you have more pressing concerns for your child's future than legal marijuana. 

Walz Ends Masks

Bad man make free again

We have won this battle, but the war has just begun. 

For 293 days Minnesotians have been forced to adorn the latest in fashion from the progressive left. Today Walz made official with the approval of the executive council that Masks are no longer required for those who are considered “fully vaccinated” However there are some exceptions. Private businesses and local municipalities may still put in place face covering requirements; Mayor Frey of Minneapolis has already announced he plans to keep the city masked. Additionally, Minnesota’s Safe Learning Plan, along with the existing face covering guidance for schools and child care settings, remain in effect.

For those who continue to follow the new religion of the progressive left, and wear your mask alone in your car, I tip my hat to you. You became so taken in by the propaganda, and fear mongering of your own party that you called the rest of us  grandma killers, heckled shoppers at big box stores, and even ended friendships over the “science” our government created. Now as states arbitrarily end these lockdowns you should ask yourself which world you are going to live in; the real world, or the political reality which doesn't allow you to make your own decisions. Just last week Walz announced his plan, based on vaccination rates, to “Reopen Minnesota” by July 1, yet somehow in the past seven days we were able to expedite the vaccination rate by 2 weeks! Either Walz isn’t as good a teacher as he thinks, and forgot to carry a decimal, or all of these lockdowns and restrictions have been politically motivated. That is a difficult reality for the progressive left to admit, because then they made us the villains of their story. 

 In 20 years when we look back at this moment I can only imagine what the history books will say….then again I guess that depends on which party is in control.

Renter Assistance

rent help

RentHelpMN is Now Open for Applications for up to 15 months of taxpayer-funded rent, and utilities assistance.

The Minnesota Dept of Housing announced that RentHelpMN is now open and accepting applications. RentHelpMN makes it possible for eligible renters to request taxpayers' financial assistance to get caught up on overdue rent and utilities dating back to March 13, 2020. It also makes provisions for those at risk of falling behind on rent payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

rent help 2

Please note that RentHelpMN is in Phase One, in which people with past due rent who meet eligibility requirements are invited to apply. If you are a property owner with tenants behind on rent or utilities, please refer your tenants to this website to see if they qualify. If you are a landlord looking for assistance in unpaid back rent please click HERE to see if you qualify. 

To apply for RentHelpMN, please visit or call 211. The 211 helpline has dedicated multilingual staff to answer questions about RentHelpMN, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Visit to learn more about the program and eligibility requirements and to apply.

Remember if you want to be politically respected you must be politically feared,

Mort isg

Erik Mortensen 

State Representative, 55A


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or my office. We are still attempting to provide regular contact remotely so if you have other needs, please email my Legislative Assistant, Grayson, at

Watch the Minnesota House on Public TV

Video: Streaming Website. Also you can watch committees and Floor Sessions on YouTube.