Letter: Hamilton replies to criticI’d like to thank Norman Larson for recognizing my displeasure with budget proposals brought forward by legislative leadership this year.
By: Dist. 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, Worthington Daily Globe
I’d like to thank Norman Larson for recognizing my displeasure with budget proposals brought forward by legislative leadership this year.
One reason why he’s not hearing about any solutions from me, or many of my colleagues, is because the House leadership isn’t interested in them.
A fellow lawmaker estimates that $8 billion worth of reforms, efficiencies, and overall budget savings have been proposed by House Republicans this year. Few of them received a committee hearing; most of them have been ignored completely. When they are offered as amendments on the House floor, they are shot down on a party-line vote.
Why? When you have an overwhelming majority as the Democrats do, you can chart your own course and not worry about the consequences. And what path are they choosing for you and your neighbors? They’re pushing an agenda that raises taxes on seemingly everything, including sales taxes, your income, cigarettes, beer, and even heating fuel! Plus, they’re taking away the mortgage tax credit and the low income gas tax refund.
Mr. Larson is incorrect in saying every state program is receiving cuts. Health and human services spending would increase by $2.2 billion under the House Democrat plan. Meanwhile, our classrooms wouldn’t receive any funding increases and neither would veterans programs, long-term care facilities or nursing homes. Their priorities are awful.
In fact, the majority of their tax increase proposals would further extend state health and welfare benefits for able-bodied adults. Our attempts to send more of this $2.2 billion increase to rural nursing homes and long-term care facilities were, not surprisingly, defeated.
Mr. Larson also tries to blame me for the current deficit. In actuality, when Democrats took over the Minnesota House, Republicans left them with a $2 billion surplus. After two years of their control, they’ve spent us into a $6.4 billion deficit.
Mr. Larson, what I owe my constituents is a clear explanation of how their government is trying to affect their lives. Many of these bills lack prioritization, and most defy common sense.
When the House majority prioritizes welfare recipients over rural schools, the public should know about it. When it underfunds veterans programs and nursing homes while attempting to build hockey arenas and dog parks at taxpayer expense, the public should know about it. And when our solutions to this budget deficit cannot be heard or are not accepted, the public should know why that is happening as well.
Again Mr. Larson, thank you for giving me the opportunity to set the record straight.