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Broken promises behind need for special session

To the Editor:
At the end of this legislative session, the metro DFL and Gov. Dayton showed their true big government colors. The DFL-controlled Senate broke the agreement it had made with House Republicans on the bonding and transportation bill by adding an amendment to fund Southwest Light Rail (SWLR), a boondoggle that will cost taxpayers at least $100 million per mile.
The GOP house bonding and transportation bill would have increased spending for roads and bridges by over $700 million across Minnesota. This bill would especially have helped small cities with populations under 5,000 in rural Minnesota. In addition, there was some money for Highway 212 and language that would permit federal matching tax dollars to be used when completing the four lanes of Highway 212.
Gov. Dayton also vetoed the Omnibus Tax bill. It is important to understand that this bipartisan tax bill vetoed by the governor is the most bipartisan bill to be vetoed in the last 30 years. Over 89 percent of the entire House and Senate voted for this bill, yet the following provisions and several more were vetoed by the governor; a total of $801 million in tax relief over three years, which included:
• $90 million in tax relief for Minnesota farmers on school bonding levies.
• $110 million in tax relief for college graduates paying off student loans through a refundable tax credit up to $1,000, the first of its kind.
• $146 million in tax relief for every small business in Minnesota by exempting the first $100,000 of commercial industrial property from the state imposed property tax.
• $13 million in tax relief for Minnesota veterans by raising the income eligibility threshold.
• $32 million to reduce the cost of child care by expanding the child care tax credit. This would greatly help families with small children that need help with the cost of childcare.
• A substantial increase in the local government aid and county program aid.
Gov. Dayton is proving to be an uncompromising ideologue who is refusing to sign compromise legislation which passed overwhelmingly in the House and Senate with broad bipartisan support.
Transportation and bonding bill: Passed 91-39; died in DFL senate due to SWLR Amendment.
Tax bill: Passed 123-10; vetoed by the governor.
Pension reform bill: Passed 129-3;  vetoed by the governor.
Minnesota businesses, farms and citizens are among the top 10 highest taxed in the nation. They need tax relief, not additional tax increases. Remember this economic principle: If you want less of something you increase taxes, if you want more of something you reduce taxes on it.
Gov. Dayton’s proposed budget for this past session spent the entire surplus of $900 million on growing government. Republicans insisted on tax relief for low and middle-income families along with tax relief for small businesses and farms. Minnesotans expect compromise and the Republican Party did compromise.  Unfortunately, the DFL-controlled Senate and Gov. Dayton broke their promises to implement bipartisan compromise legislation this session.
Please contact Governor Dayton at 651-201-3400 and urge him to call a special session to pass the bipartisan, compromise bonding and transportation bill and the Omnibus Tax Bill without forcing us to spend an additional $429 million of your tax dollars.
State Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen
R-Glencoe
320-894-6713