Fearing more of one party ramming activist’s wish list

It’s no secret Democrats have a thing about bringing California-style laws to Minnesota, from banning employee non-compete agreements to energy policies such as forcing more electric cars into our free market and beyond.

While I generally oppose making Minnesota the California of the Midwest, let’s give credit for the lonely bright spot. I mean, who knew the Democrats could bring the Golden State’s balmy winter weather to Minnesota? Anyone have orange trees for sale? Aside from people who depend on “real” Minnesota winters to make a living, I think we’ve enjoyed the reprieve. Thank you for the California winter, Democrats.

As I pry my tongue out of my cheek, let’s get down to business. And, yes, on a very serious note, people are expressing significant concerns this year could be an extension of last year, when Democrats used their one-party control in St. Paul to ram an activist’s wish list of extreme legislation into law.

Unsustainable state spending/taxing

When we left the Capitol last spring, one party control had just finished spending the taxpayers’ $17.5 billion surplus, raising taxes by $10 billion and increasing the state budget by 40 percent. The good news is there’s no more surplus for the money for the Democrats to waste on government growth. The bad news is that’s because they already wasted all the money our government over-collected from taxpayers and now a shortfall is projected for the next biennium. The Democrats have put our state on a trajectory that is simply unsustainable.

But that apparently won’t stop the $730 million renovation/expansion of the State Office Building in St. Paul, which just so happens to house legislative offices. Construction began on this project in recent months and it will cost taxpayers eight times as much as the new Senate building, which was constructed within the last decade for $90 million.

Restore school safety

One of the first items of business to tackle this session should be to restore school safety after Democrats changed state law restricting how school resource officers may de-escalate aggressive or violent situations. Dozens of law enforcement agencies pulled SROs from schools across Minnesota as a result. This issue remains unresolved, and we cannot afford to continue playing political games with the safety of our students, teachers and staff.

More life-ending policy

The subject of assisted suicide also has made headlines recently after Democrats conducted a hearing to discuss their push to legalize this practice Minnesota. From last year’s legislation repealing life-saving care for children born alive, to now looking to assist in suicide, it is clear that creating new ways for Minnesotans to end life is a priority for the party in control.

Haven for illegal immigrants

Democrats also are now pushing legislation to make Minnesota a so-called sanctuary state. This would make our state a haven for illegal immigrants at a time we face a crisis at our nation’s southern border. Full-control Democrats spent last session laying the groundwork, with driver’s licenses for all, automatic voter registration, incentives to not go to work and more. Now, they want to prohibit any employee of state or local government from cooperating with federal immigration agencies, which would further entice the resettlement of illegals in Minnesota.

Balance needed in St. Paul

All this serves to highlight the importance of restoring balance in St. Paul so we can do better to meet the needs of all Minnesotans. I will continue working to advocate for common-sense solutions while defending the basic rights of Minnesotans, particularly those found in the Constitution.

We cannot allow metro-centric liberals to continue forcing their agenda on the people of Greater Minnesota and I will make sure people of District 15A are heard loud and clear at the Capitol. This is especially true regarding proposals impacting our state energy policies since I am the ranking Republican on that subject. My focus remains to provide Minnesotans with access to affordable power on a reliable grid.

The challenges we face this session once again are significant, even more so with one-party control running roughshod in St. Paul. But I’m eager to take things head-on for the people of our district, for Greater Minnesota residents and Minnesotans in general. As always, your input is welcome. Please, stay in touch and I will be back soon with notes from the Capitol as the new session begins.

— Chris Swedzinski represents District 15A in the Minnesota House.


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