Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2020 legislative session is officially underway as lawmakers returned to St. Paul on Tuesday. Most of Tuesday’s floor session was spent honoring the memory of three National Guardsmen that were tragically killed in a helicopter crash in December. We also spent time remembering and sharing stories about former State Representative, Diane Loeffler. Rep. Loeffler passed away recently after a battle with cancer.
Please be sure to keep the families of Chief Warrant Officer James Rogers, Jr., Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charles Nord, and Sgt. Kort Plantenberg, and Diane Loeffler in your thoughts and prayers.
Heading into the 2020 session, state government is fully funded, our budget reserve is at an all-time high, and Minnesota has a budget surplus of $1.3 billion. Our state and national economies remain as strong as ever thanks to policies championed by President Trump and Republicans at the state and federal levels.
Despite positive economic news, there are still things I would like to see accomplished this year in St. Paul.
With a $1.3 billion budget surplus, we should prioritize tax relief for Minnesota families. Ideas include eliminating the unfair tax on social security for our seniors, repealing the sick tax, and other initiatives that will allow hardworking Minnesotans to keep more of their money. I will oppose any tax hike put forward by Governor Walz and Democrats.
Simply put, there is no reason to raise taxes when the government is fully funded, and our state has a $1.3 billion budget surplus.
This summer, Minnesotans were frustrated with the endless news of chaos, misspending, and mismanagement at the Department of Human Services (DHS). It’s clear that significant reforms are needed at the Department and we need to hold Governor Walz and others accountable for the problems at DHS.
Rather than forcing taxpayers to pay even more to cover the tens of millions of dollars the state owes to the federal government due to mismanagement—DHS should take responsibility for this mess and find savings in their $17 billion budget to cover these costs.
I also plan on pushing for an independent forensic audit of DHS that will help identify even more waste, abuse, and fraud within the Department.
Safety in Our Cities
Crime was at an all-time high on the Light Rail in 2019, and there’s been a spike in assaults, robberies, murders, and gang activity in the Metro area. I am planning to work with law enforcement as we consider policies that can reduce crime and help keep Minnesotans safe in their communities.
Staying in Touch
I am also working on several local issues and will be discussing those in greater detail in the days and weeks to come. Until then, pleases be sure to reach out to me to share any thoughts, questions, or concerns you may have related to state government. I can be reached by phone at rep.sondra.erickson.
Have a great weekend,
273 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155