Legislative Update: Kathy Lohmer on the Second Amendment, Health Care and Taxes
Lohmer writes about Gov. Mark Dayton's State of the State address, the second amendment, health care and the various committees she is working on in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
Editor’s Note: The following is a news release from Rep. Kathy Lohmer (R-Stillwater). Lohmer represents the Stillwater area in Minnesota House District 39B.
On Wednesday, Governor Dayton gave his State of the State address before a joint session of the legislature.
I had the honor of bringing John Schiltz, owner of the Lake Elmo Inn, as my guest to the State of the State address. It’s small businesses like the Lake Elmo Inn that will be hurt under Governor Dayton’s tax plan.
John shared his concerns with me that raising the minimum wage might force him to cut employees. He also said that we need to have a more competitive business climate in Minnesota so that businesses locate and grow here and not in Wisconsin.
I’m surprised Governor Dayton took credit for the budget that turned a $6.2 billion deficit into a $2.5 billion surplus. Republicans passed that budget and Governor Dayton previously stated that he felt forced into signing it. I also find it curious that Governor Dayton never brought up his sales tax expansion or the business-to-business tax in his address.
Another area of concern for me is the fact that Governor Dayton is kicking the can down the road to pay back education shift until 2017. Republicans had a bill last year to pay it all down, but unfortunately the governor vetoed it.
Ultimately, I don’t think Governor Dayton’s approach is right for our state. What is balanced about offering only $1 in cuts to $16 in tax increases?
I fear Minnesota will become the land of 10,000 taxes under the governor’s proposal.
As a member of the House Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee, I spent quite a bit of time this week in hearings on gun control legislation.
I was inspired by the multitude of citizens who took time off from their daily lives to come to the Capitol to show their support for the Second Amendment. Attendance was so large that two overflow rooms were needed to accommodate all our citizens visiting the Capitol.
Although I am a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, I believe it was important for me to listen to those who had opposing views.
I found it very disrespectful when DFL members of the committee stood up and left the committee when pro-Second Amendment citizens had their turn to testify. It was also very concerning to me that a DFL member who was chief authoring one of the gun control bills was not even present to testify for her bill and had a lobbyist testify in her place.
In all of the committee hearings I’ve been a part of for over two years now, I have never seen that happen before.
This week, Health and Human Services Policy Committee heard testimony relating to implementation of the healthcare exchange.
I’m concerned that the DFL leadership is pushing this legislation too quickly without having enough time to answer needed questions relating to costs for the state and affordability for citizens.
On party-line votes, the DFL majority defeated our amendments to require that the healthcare exchange be subject to oversight and accountable to taxpayers. Healthcare is an issue that is very personal to me and I plan to fight this legislation every step of the way.
Senator Karin Housley and I will be doing listening sessions in the district soon. Stay tuned for details.