19 Months of Legislative Activity Comes to an End

SD49NL_PIC_19Jy21-STORY-19_Mos_Leg_Activity_End.jpgAfter 19 long months of legislative activity, Minnesota's part-time legislators will only have two months back in their districts. Another Special Session is expected in September.

The regular 2021 legislative session ended May 17, and a Special Session started shortly after. Legislators, both virtually and in person in Saint Paul, spent nearly two weeks trying to work together to pass a two-year budget.  They finally reached a $52 billion budget agreement before midnight on June 30, avoiding a partial state government shutdown on July 1.

In addition to the budget, legislators also came to agreement on a $900 million tax relief bill for Minnesotans.  On the last day, the House and the Senate finally acted on important Paycheck Protection Program loan conformity legislation.  Governor Walz signed a bill that fully conforms to the federal law for PPP loan forgiveness and deductibility.  It also includes forgiveness for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Small Business Administration grants, 

The National Federation of Independent Business reported that the state’s Reinsurance Program was retained for one more year.  This Republican-backed plan has been successful in not only stabilizing the Minnesota individual health insurance market, but also reduced premiums by about 20% on average.  Governor Walz and the House DFL caucus wanted to end this critical program and apply the budgeted money to other spending.  They planned on having individuals who have benefited from this program in the state’s individual health insurance market utilize the federal tax credits that are available temporarily through 2022. 

It is estimated that close to 50,000 Minnesotans may not be able to benefit from these tax credits and insurers estimated this would cause a large 25% across-the-board increase for everyone in this market. Fortunately, the Senate majority Republican caucus stood strong and insisted on funding for this program through 2022. The legislation also authorizes another federal waiver to be requested to continue the program.

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Minnesota Election Integrity Concerns: How Did We Get Here?

Minnesota urgently needs a new and very different kind of Secretary of State working with a Republican majority in both houses, and a governor, with a serious commitment to rolling back decades of bad election policy.

Each time I meet with civic groups, I paraphrase Dinesh D’Souza commenting on Joe Biden’s capture of the White House:  “Republicans focused on the campaign; Democrats focused on the election.”  (I have quoted D’Souza so many times, that Randy Sutter in SD49 now insists that I said it. I wish!)  D’Souza’s observation is not just true of 2020; it has been true for decades and neatly summarizes each party’s DNA.

It does not mean Republicans do not know how to win elections. Except for losing the White House, Republican results at the state and national level in 2020 were very strong (as illustrated in the attached picture).

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What did D’Souza mean?  Democrats for decades have focused on the hard work of registering voters, getting out the vote, keeping up-to-date data (on voters, volunteers, donors) and constant candidate recruitment.  Democrats have captured election laws and the election infrastructure (office of the MN Secretary of State and city and county election-related jobs).  Starting with Secretary of State Joan Growe (serving from 1975 to 1999), Minnesota shifted from having solid, commonsense election laws that made it easy to vote but hard to cheat, to a “progressive” ideal of “anything goes” approach to voting.

Minnesota’s election laws are too complicated and very sloppy--and thus an open invitation to fraud (e.g., no voter ID or provisional ballots, vouching and voter assistance, same-day registration, no-excuse absentee ballots, absentee ballots reviewed by partisan staff, 46 days of early voting, drop boxes in cities, mail-in voting replacing precinct-level voting in Greater Minnesota, and so on).

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MN GOP National Week of Training Coming

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The Republican Party of Minnesota will be holding a National Week of Training and Day of Action as a part of an early investment strategy across the state ahead of 2022!  The MN GOP staff will be hosting one hour training sessions during the week of July 26th-July 30th.   

The purpose of these is to prepare volunteers across the state for a Day of Action which will take place on July 31st. That Saturday, the MN GOP staff will lead the volunteers in taking what they have learned in the training to their communities.  Using data provided by the state party, volunteers will door-knock and engage in meaningful conversations with neighbors.  

Success in an election year is built on the work done in the off-year. The training and voter contacts are intended to help positively impact local races all the way up to the governorship. 

Consider attending one of the one-hour training sessions listed below.

  • Monday, July 26th - 6:00 pm
  • Tuesday, July 27th - 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 28th - 2:00 pm
  • Thursday, July 29th - 6:00 pm
  • Friday, July 30th - 6:00 pm

The location for these trainings will be at the MN GOP office: 7400 Metro Blvd, Suite 424, Edina, MN 55439

Sign up HERE today!

If you are unable to attend any of these trainings but are still wanting to get active, please contact Blake Paulson at [email protected] to set up an alternate training time either in-person or via Zoom.


Volunteers Needed to Staff MNGOP Booth at State Fair

SD49NL_19Jy21-STORYMNGOP_State_Fair_Booth-Pic_1-19Jy21.jpgThe State Fair is back this year, and the Republican Party of Minnesota plans to continue its tradition of running a State Fair booth for the duration of the fair.  The MN GOP staff has asked the leadership of the Congressional Districts and the Affiliate groups to find volunteers to support the running of the booth on specific days.

Congressional District 3 Republicans (including SD49) are teaming with the Minnesota Organization of Republican Veterans (MORVets) to work the booth over three shifts on Tuesday, August 31.  The shifts are 9 am to 1 pm, 1 pm to 5 pm, and 5 pm to 9 pm. 

CD3 GOP Chair Patti Meier is looking for 12 volunteers to sign up, four per shift.  The first four to sign up (and show up) for each of the shifts will be entitled to be reimbursed the price of admission to the State Fair.  Volunteers will be responsible for covering their costs of transportation and parking.

Volunteers will greet guests, organize and promote merchandise and assist with a short poll on issues and candidates, and other duties as assigned by MN GOP staff.

There will be virtual training via zoom in August before the fair to answer questions and go over volunteer information. There will be three different weekday evening options for this training, and every volunteer must "attend" one.

If you are willing to volunteer, please contact Patti Meier at [email protected]. Provide your name, senate district (or home address), email address, cell phone number, and shift (or shifts} to be worked.  She will get back to you to confirm your shift and/or with any questions.

 


What's in Signed MN Budget

Facing Legislature Vote, Walz Ends Emergency Powers

No Tax Increase, $1B in Tax Relief

Emergency_Powers_No_More.jpgAfter nearly 16 months, Governor Walz’s COVID-19 peacetime emergency powers ended on Thursday, July 1.

The Republican-led Senate voted first on July 29 to end Walz’s emergency powers. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R, East Gull Lake) reported that after intense negotiations with the DFL-led House, the House were about to do the same – “against the governor’s wishes. With his hand forced, the Democratic governor announced in an 11:40 p.m. news release that he would end them himself.”

The Star Tribune reported that later that evening, the House voted to end Gov. Walz’s emergency powers as of July 1. Those powers had emerged as a key sticking point in budget negotiations. The legislature did not vote on any Chapter 12 reform, meaning the Governor still has the ability to declare another peacetime emergency should he choose to. Without changing Chapter 12, there is nothing stopping Governor Walz from following states like California and reinstating his emergency powers.

With the vote to end the governor’s current emergency powers behind them, legislators did pass a public safety bill that had been a key point of division in recent months. Democrats expressed disappointment that the public safety agreement that had been reached the prior weekend fell short on police accountability. Republicans rejected proposed DFL amendments that they said “would undermine officers’ ability to keep people safe”, including one that would impose limits on traffic stops. Stressing the value of the work done by law enforcement, Republicans felt that the amendments would send the wrong message about police.

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Bloomington Republicans Urged to Apply to be Election Judges by July 12

Vote1.JPGElection judges play an important role in administering elections by ensuring the constitutional rights of voters are protected.  Bloomington has specifically called out a need for Republican election judges.

Be aware that Bloomington’s deadline for filing to be an election judge appears to have been accelerated significantly.  On the Bloomington website, the filing deadline is listed as September 2.  However, a former Republican election judge was recently sent a form and asked to submit it by July 12.

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Get Involved With Bloomington Boards, Commissions

City_of_Bloomington_Logo_JPG.jpgApply for Bloomington Charter Commission by July 9. The Chief Judge of Hennepin County is accepting applications to fill a vacancy of an unexpired term on the Bloomington Charter Commission. Applications will be accepted through 4 p.m. on July 9, 2021. Applications may be obtained by calling Bloomington Civic Plaza at 952-563-8782 or you may apply online at blm.mn/board-app.

The Charter Commission is charged with studying issues and making recommendations relating to the city’s governing charter. The commission meets annually on the first Thursday evening in May and additionally as needed, if directed by the Bloomington City Council to study a particular issue.

Other opportunities for Bloomington Community Governance involvement: 

Help shape a new Board & Commission policy – The City is developing a board and commission policy to create fair and consistent guidelines for the recruitment and appointment of new members, and to ensure transparency for the public. We are seeking feedback about leadership in Bloomington to help develop desired characteristics for board and commission members that reflect the voice of the community. Please share your ideas at https://letstalk.bloomingtonmn.gov/boards-and-commissions or reach out to Emily Larson at [email protected]

Apply to participate in the Bloomington Leadership Program – Are you interested in developing leadership skills to better your community? The City of Bloomington is now accepting applications for the 2021 Bloomington Leadership Program. The deadline is July 31.CLICK HERE to read our June article on the SD49 website.


Republican Roundtable Resumes Shows

Max_Rymer_and_Diane_Napper.jpgRepublican Roundtable once again has access to their equipment and is able to record / broadcast, after a year of studio closure due to Gov. Walz’s COVID-19 Executive Orders,

Their first guest of 2021 was Diane Napper, a board member of TakeCharge Minnesota, interviewed by Max Rymer. She addresses some of the current myths about the black community and the country. The focus of this transformational organization is on returning the black community to its roots - faith, family, and education.

To view the show on Youtube CLICK HERE.


Court Orders Minneapolis to Hire More Police

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On Thursday, July 1, a Hennepin County judge struck a major blow to the defund movement when she ordered the city of Minneapolis to hire more police.  Hennepin County District Judge Jamie Anderson said Minneapolis leaders have “failed to perform an official duty clearly imposed by law.”

Judge Anderson ordered the Minneapolis City Council and Mayor Jacob Frey to “immediately take any and all necessary action to ensure that they fund a police force” of at least 730 sworn officers, or more if required by the 2020 Census to be published later this year, by June 30, 2022.

Doug Seaton, President of the Upper Midwest Law Center, said: “This is a huge victory for the Petitioners and all residents of Minneapolis, especially those in the most diverse neighborhoods feeling the brunt of rising crime rates. We applaud the Court’s decision and look forward to swift action by the City Council and Mayor to fund the police and ensure the safety of all Minneapolitans.”

The City had projected that the Minneapolis Police Department would only have 669 sworn officers as of June 1, 2022, after an “exodus” through retirement, resignations, and officers taking extended leave.  As reported by AlphaNews, Minneapolis argued that it only needs 650 sworn officers, “but this figure is based on the 2010 census.  Anderson said a 2019 population estimate of 429,606 mandates a police force of at least 730 officers but likely more, depending on the figures in the 2020 census.”

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SD49 Republicans Walk in Edina's July 4 Parade

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Thank you to the roughly 40 volunteers who join us for Edina's 4th of July Parade, held on July 3rd.  We were also joined by MN Rep. Greg Boe (R, Chaska), David Pascoe (MN GOP Secretary), Cicely Davis (SD59 Chair), Allen Shen (Vice Chair, Asian American Republicans Affiliate), Kim Crockett (CD3 Republicans Vice Chair), and Patty Piatz (producer, Republican Roundtable). Republicans from Edina and Bloomington were numerous, we were pleased to be supplemented by our friends from Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Eden Prairie, Excelsior, Roseville, and Carver County.

A special thanks goes out to Carol Kerr and her red convertible (with inflated elephant) and John Ward and his vintage red Mustang convertible for helping us make an impact with their vehicles..

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