Senator Ray Vandeveer and legislative Republican majorities rang down the final gavel on the 2012 legislative session today — ending a two-year legislative session marked by partisan divides, a state government shutdown, and heavy state borrowing.
"Sen. Vandeveer and his Republican colleagues pursued an agenda that was too extreme, and did too little on the things that matter most to middle class families," Carrie Lucking, Executive Director of the Alliance for a Better Minnesota said. "Stillwater and Forest Lake families can’t afford to pay even higher property taxes, but Sen. Vandeveer chose to raise taxes on them instead of ending tax breaks for big corporations."
In the past two years, Sen. Vandeveer and the Republican-led legislature have been dogged by the lowest approval ratings in Minnesota history in public polls. Over 50% of Minnesotans consistently give the Republican-controlled legislature failing marks. [KSTP/SurveyUSA, 2/8/12] The following critical votes over the past two years have raised Minnesotans’ ire:
>> Sen. Vandeveer voted to cut area Local Government Aid by over $4.5 million, forcing a projected property tax increase on homeowners and potential reductions in police, firefighters, and critical services. [MN House Research, HF 42 Conference Committee Report]
>> Sen. Vandeveer voted to end the Market Value Homestead Credit, causing a projected 3.7% property tax increase in Washington County. [MN House Research, HF 20, special session]
>> Sen. Vandeveer voted to cut area schools by over $1.2 million [MN House Research, HF 934] and borrow $700 million from Minnesota’s children, leaving them a $2 billion IOU and no plan to pay it back. [HF 26, special session]
Sen. Vandeveer spent his time at the legislature supporting special deals and tax breaks for big corporations and their lobbyists, at the expense of his nearly 79,000 constituents:
>> Sen. Vandeveer voted to make it harder for consumers to hold big corporations accountable when they do wrong and voted to allow corporations to avoid paying their taxes by hiding profits overseas. [SF149, SF373, SF429, SF530, SF1236; HF130, HF 42 - Senate Journal 1213]