Nov 14

Dayton Reverses MSOP Decision, Town Hall Next Monday

 

Home Safe Home

Yesterday, Governor Dayton announced that his administration will temporarily suspend the transfer of dangerous sex offenders to a less secure facility in Cambridge. This comes after months of work by many strong leaders in our community to bring the concerns of our citizens to the Governor’s attention. Governor Dayton is asking the legislature to review our state policies towards handling MSOP offenders in the upcoming 2014 legislative session.

 

You can read more about this welcome announcement by the Governor here and also my full statement here

 

As previously planned, I will still be hosting a Town Hall Meeting on this issue next Monday evening, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Cambridge Christian School. I welcome you to bring any further questions you have about the latest updates on this important issue.

 

 The City of Cambridge, neighborhoods and businesses surrounding the proposed transfer site, and hundreds of past victims who have contacted me can now rest a little easier knowing that our state’s leaders have reversed their previous course of action. Many legal questions and concerns still remain with MSOP and I plan on following this issue closely over the next several months and during the 2014 legislative session.

 

 

Apr 29

Taxes Hit Isanti and Chisago Counties Hard

On Wednesday night, the House passed legislation that raises taxes on all hardworking Minnesotans by nearly $2.7 billion. All Republicans and several Democrats voted against the bill, which narrowly passed.

House Democrats do not have the best interests of our area in mind, and cannot resist growing the size of government to historic levels. They campaigned on ‘tax the rich,’ but this proposal impacts everyone from the wealthiest to the poorest of the poor. Inevitably, you and I are going to lose more of our paychecks in order to fund wasteful programs that we do not need and cannot afford.

Here is a rundown of some notable tax increases in the tax bill they passed this week:

· Cigarette tax: Increase from 48 cents to $2.83 (113% increase) proceeds go to the general fund not used for tobacco illness or cessation programs

· Alcohol tax (203% increase): distilled spirits (119%), 3.2% beer (965%) and other beer (503%). NOTE: Summit Brewing said its annual state tax bill would jump from $550,000 to $2.3 million under House Democrats’ tax proposal.

· Income-tax increase: Adjusts the tax brackets pushing hardworking citizens into higher tax brackets in all three levels. Even those with incomes as low as $24,000 get a 1.7% tax increase under the bill.

· Elimination of the charitable contribution deduction for itemized deductions and replaces it with a non-refundable credit for 8 percent of the amount over $400 donated

· Elimination of the incentive to purchase long-term care insurance at a time when the state demographer is warning us of an aging population

· Sports memorabilia tax: Would add a sales tax of 10 percent to items related to professional sports

· Rental car tax: Increase from 6.2% to 9.2%

The plan would make Minnesota the state with the second-highest income tax rate. These are regressive taxes that would hit virtually all Minnesotans. The hard-working citizens of our state will all pay more regardless of their income level.

The bill will go on to merge with the Senate version before coming back to the House for final passage. Thank you for your support and interest during this busy time of session.

Please contact me with your thoughts and questions.

Apr 10

Legislative Update

Friends,

The legislature is back at work after our Easter/Passover break. For the next month, each committee will be working on their piece of the state budget puzzle. As you know, my DFL colleagues that control the House and Senate have proposed spending over $39 billion in the next two years, a large increase over current levels, including over $2 billion in tax increases. As a new face at the Capitol, it is concerning to me the level of taxing and spending that is underway.

 

Bonding Bill

Many of you have contacted me through my legislative survey (if you haven’t yet, do so online here) and most of you agree there isn’t a need to increase taxes and spending right now. While the even-year (2012, 2014) is usually reserved for a bonding bill that borrows money for projects statewide, Governor Dayton and the House DFL have introduced a very large bonding bill this week to pass this session. I cannot support moving forward with a borrowing bill for $800 million before we even pass one budget bill. With only a month left to legally meet our obligation of passing a complete, balanced budget, I am worried the priorities of this legislature are simply missing the mark. If our national debt crisis has taught us one thing, it’s that more debt without a solid fiscal foundation is irresponsible. You can see the details of the House DFL bonding proposal online here.

 

Improving Safety through Immunity

Some of you may have heard about a bill I am co-sponsoring (HF946) which grants immunity to a person under 21 years of age that may have consumed alcohol but calls 911 on behalf of someone else requiring medical assistance. While we’d like to believe that alcohol isn’t being consumed by underage young people, they should not have fear of prosecution if they need to call an ambulance for a friend in need. This bill provides that a person under the age of 21 who consumes or possesses an alcoholic beverage is not subject to prosecution if the person contacts a 911 operator to report that the person or another person is in need of medical assistance, provided that the person who initiates the contact is the first person to make a report, provides a name and contact information, and remains and cooperates with the authorities at the scene.

 

I hope this will increase safety and awareness for young people and thank everyone who has contacted me about the issue. The bill continues to move forward and may be heard on the House Floor in a few weeks.

 

Session Update Video

Watch my most recent video update to hear more about what’s going on in St. Paul.


As always, please contact me with your thoughts and questions.
Sincerely,
Brian

 

Mar 02

The Johnson Family