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Swedzinski pleased tax hikes dropped by Walz, Democrats

ST. PAUL — With a special session ending last weekend, State Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, is joining the ranks of those calling the 2019 Legislative session a win for Minnesota.

In a press release Tuesday, Swedzinski, said he is pleased most of the tax increases proposed by Gov. Tim Walz and the House majority were struck down in the process of setting a new two-year state budget. Proposals to raise taxes by $12 billion caused budget talks to stall and no deal was in place when the May 20 date for adjournment arrived.

“That was never realistic to raise taxes by $12 billion at a time the state has a $1 billion surplus and it just took time for the House majority and the governor to acknowledge that fact,” Swedzinski said. “We were successful in getting them to drop most of their tax increases, including their push to raise the gas tax by 20 cents. The one major exception is they did extend a tax on health care at a cost of more than $2 billion to Minnesotans.”

Swedzinski also pointed to mental health grants for farmers and $8 million to help dairy farmers cover the costs of a federal Margin Protection Plan insurance program as successes of the session. The funding is directed toward smaller, family-type operations with fewer than 750 cows. An appropriation to provide mental health support for farmers was approved as well.

“We also spared nursing homes from the $68 million Democrats were looking to cut from them, which is a huge win for Greater Minnesota,” Swedzinski said. “And, after so much resistance, Democrats finally agreed to extend the reinsurance plan we successfully created a couple of years ago to help get a handle on insurance premiums on the individual market.”

Swedzinski also boasted the passage a bill that will help the Minneota school district rectify a funding shortage on a construction project by covering sales taxes on materials. He also received approval for a bill allowing people to use night-vision equipment while hunting foxes and coyotes.

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