Social issues prominent as we wait for more important action
It continues to astound me how much time is being wasted on divisive social issues in St. Paul as the budget and a still-recovering economy sit on the back burner.
It seems the only time we hear the legislative majorities talk about jobs and the economy it has to do with huge tax increases that would stifle both. We received a bit of a breather this week (last week) when Gov. Mark Dayton formally announced he is abandoning a number of tax increases he planned to foist on Minnesotans, including a business-to-business tax and expanding taxes to include services like haircuts and oil changes.
The problem is we are not out of the tax woods just yet. The governor’s tax proposals are merely part of his budget recommendations. It is Democrats in the House and the Senate who ultimately will be responsible for authoring the bills that will become our state budget for the next two fiscal years. They did not immediately take Dayton’s lead in scrapping tax increases.
To the contrary, a House committee recently heard a Democrat bill that would raise taxes on snack foods. This follows bills to raise taxes on alcohol (by 350 percent for some), cigarettes (by $1.60 per pack), gasoline (10 cents per gallon) and a whole lot more.
While we wait for details on the Democrats’ tax increases to unfold, they have been busy advancing social issues. They have brought to the forefront new restrictions on guns, unionized day care providers, getting government involved in our health care and redefining traditional marriage. I do not support any of these proposals.
Barely one-third of all Minnesotans support redefining marriage. All precincts in District 9A voted in favor of a constitutional amendment proposal in 2012 to protect traditional marriage.
The new majorities should fulfill
promises they made last fall to focus on jobs and the economy, along with paying back money owed to our school children. That is what the citizens of Minnesota expect and deserve but have not received so far this session.
Rep. Mark Anderson