Whom I wish was still in our District and not the Socialist, Government loving Rep we have now..Kelby Woodard..makes more sense then the D(umb)F(***ing)L(iberals) do on any given Sunday..

It was my pleasure to host local businessman Robert Wagner as my special guest at the Capitol for this week’s State of the State Address by Gov. Mark Dayton.

Most of you know Robert as the owner of Jim’s Apple Barn on Hwy. 169 between Jordan and Belle Plaine (aka America’s largest puzzle store and Minnesota’s largest candy store). He also is a Blakeley Township supervisor and apple farmer. Robert was among dozens of business owners who joined Republican House members for a roundtable discussion prior to the governor’s speech.

These small businessmen and women from across the state shared their views on the governor’s taxing-and-spending proposals. Our state’s business climate ranks among the nation’s worst for taxation and regulation and the renewed threat of $3.7 billion in new taxes on Minnesotans has these job creators concerned.

Here are a few thoughts from the roundtable discussion:

  • “The governor’s budget will force us to downsize our business.”
  • “I’m looking to neighboring states to expand.”
  • “It is insulting to be demonized as a job creator.”
  • “We are labeled as the rich who need to pay their fair share, but all my income goes into my business.”

One thing that stood out in the governor’s speech for me is how his message was at times quite contradictory. First, he took full credit for the improvements Republican-initiated policies have brought to Minnesota in the last two years. The governor conceded that we have gained 72,000 jobs, our state’s bottom line is in better shape and the 2011 K-12 shift is fully paid off. In the next breath, Dayton referred to our progress as “failed experiments” and the “old order.”

The governor also used the speech to perpetuate a few myths about the structure of his budget plan. He would like us to believe that somehow $3.7 billion in new taxes will not impact the middle class. In reality, new sales taxes and hidden fees on goods and services would cost us all more. Experts indicate businesses of all sizes would pay $1.5 billion more in taxes in 2015 alone.

Contrary to the governor’s words, his budget plan is not “balanced” and continues to use accounting gimmicks such as a continued delay in payments to our schools. The governor has called for $22 in tax increases for every $1 in spending reductions … not exactly a balanced approach, in my opinion.

SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS

The Minnesota House Public Safety Committee spent most of this week debating a series of bills that impact gun ownership in our state. Hundreds of concerned citizens from across the state (and our district) descended on the Capitol to voice their concerns about these bills and their impact on our Second Amendment rights. The fact is that the bills sponsored by the DFL in St. Paul are even more restrictive than what the President wants to pass in Washington, DC. Perhaps even more importantly, House DFLers need to explain to Minnesotans why limiting our Second Amendment rights is a higher priority than enacting a state budget or improving economic opportunities.

HOUSE RULES

I am also disappointed that the DFL majority is bringing Washington, D.C. style politics to Minnesota by attempting to change House rules regarding the time honored tradition of floor debate. Despite their majorities in both houses and in the governor’s mansion, the DFL is proposing unprecedented limits on the minority and refusing to allow amendments to be developed during the course of floor discussion.

The Minnesota House of Representatives has always been a place for our citizen representatives to engage in lively, active debates on the issues of the day. I believe these new rules will lead to scripted and pre-determined outcomes, while fostering a culture where legislators talk past each other instead of to each other (just like Washington, DC).

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