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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

THE INSIDE SCOOP by Representative Pat Garofalo


There are 2 different ways to look at the most recently passed legislative session.  To some - this was nirvana.  Anything the spenders asked for from government was given.  A Governor and legislative majority were committed to a bigger government - and they delivered.  To others - this was legislative hell.  Law after law was passed to spend-spend-spend, increase taxes on hard working families, and attack the private sector. 

From my perspective, the size and scope of the pension bail outs, unfunded mandates on the private sector, and costly energy mandates - were absolutely staggering.  With the Democrats in total control of our state, I expected some bad things to happen.  But I never expected the tsunami of stupidity that was enacted into law this session.


On a 68-66 vote, the unionization of day cares bill passed on the final day of session.  Under this law, money intended to provide care for low income children, disabled family members, and vulnerable adults will likely be siphoned off into union campaign coffers.  Despite the fact that virtually every major newspaper in Minnesota opposed this scam - and yes it is a scam - Democrats rammed this through on the final day of session.  AFSCME Union members cheered and screamed loudly after the vote.  As they should.  This law will mean tens of millions of dollars for their union in the years ahead.  Sadly, this will come at the expense of the disabled, vulnerable, and taxpayers.  In case you think this is a partisan issue - some courageous Democrats opposed the bill.  Enclosed is a Star Tribune editorial criticizing this political payoff to certain unions.


Despite over $2 billion dollars in tax and fee increases, little of that money will be coming to the school districts of our area.  What does that mean?  It means that even though every Minnesotan will be paying the costs of higher taxes - Farmington, Lakeville, Rosemount/Apple Valley/Eagan, and other districts will likely be seeking property tax increases this November.  Once again, our area will be faced with the prospect of paying more.  In my next newsletter, I will share additional thoughts on the very difficult choices our local school boards will face this fall.


If there is one lesson from this legislative session it is this - elections matter.   If this month's newsletter sounds is because...well...I am.  Here is why......As a lifelong Minnesotan, I have sincere, genuine concern that our state is following the failed policies of California, Illiinois, and Rhode Island.  I hope I am wrong - but history has proven - and is demonstrating again - that the destructive policies enacted this session will hurt...not help the citizens of our area.

As always, it is an honor to serve as your State Representative.  Please feel free to contact me regarding any issues that concern you.  Thanks!

Rep. Pat Garofalo
District 36B
221 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

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