A Tale of Two Parties - 2021 State Legislature Priorities

One_Expensive_Minnesota.jpgWithin the last two weeks, both the GOP and DFL announced 2021 legislative priorities.  The main requirement for the 2021 session is the biennial state budget.  The GOP is dedicated to closing the projected deficit without raising taxes, including requiring state agencies to find savings within their own budgets.  A key priority for Republicans within the budget is reform targeting the elimination of waste, fraud and abuse by state agencies.  

Additionally, redistricting will occur in 2021 based on the new census (a once-in-a-decade occurrence).

In contrast,  the DFL is dedicated to increasing taxpayer funding to various constituencies with little to no regard for any mention of fiscal responsibility, transparency or accountability.

On Thursday, Jan. 21 the MN Senate GOP caucus released its 2021 legislative plan.  Key components include: 

  • Safely re-opening Minnesota businesses and schools, ending Gov. Walz's authority to close schools and limit other emergency powers
  • Imposing state agency budget cuts of 5 percent to balance the budget without raising taxes
  • Helping disadvantaged students attain great educations through opportunity scholarships 
  • Protecting Minnesotans from Gov. Walz unilaterally implementing onerous new clean air standards for cars based on California's emissions standards, and
  • Election integrity initiatives, including a photo ID requirement for voters.

The week prior, the MN House majority DFL caucus released its legislative priorities. Highlights include:

• Economic Security (HF 1) -- Housing assistance and cash payments to families in need, food security and broadband expansion
• Worker Protections (HF 2) -- Paid sick leave for healthcare workers, workers' comp for school employees contracting COVID-19, and expanding unemployment insurance to social security recipients
• Health Care and Humans Services (HF 3) -- Addressing health-related needs to the homeless
• Education (HF 4) -- Additional investments to address learning loss and opportunity gap, and Increased funding to schools to address decreased enrollment
• Child Care (HF 5) -- Child care provider grants
• Racial justice initiatives spanning economic development, housing, education, public safety, health care and human services, and the environment