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Opinion: Gun Control Legislation Versus Balancing the Budget, Governor’s State of the State Address

Rep. Joyce Peppin: "Minnesota is on the path toward economic success, and even Gov. Dayton acknowledges that the policies implemented by Republicans over the last two years have worked."

The following was reprinted with permission from the Feb. 11, 2013 update from Rep. Joyce Peppin. Peppin represents several communities, including Maple Grove and Rogers.

Governor’s State of the State Address 

House Republicans were proud to host 50 job creators and business leaders for Governor Dayton’s State of the State speech on Wednesday evening. Prior to the governor’s speech, we held a productive roundtable discussion about Minnesota’s business climate. 

A few of the points we heard from business owners small and large include:

  • They are concerned the governor’s budget plan will result in them having to downsize their businesses, and many have already downsized due to the economy.
  • Some are considering expanding or moving to neighboring states.
  • The governor’s “tax the rich” class warfare rhetoric doesn’t help. It is insulting to be demonized as job creators.
  • They are labeled as the rich who need to pay their fair share, but their income goes into their business because they believe in paying fair wages, buying new equipment or technology and, when possible, hiring new employees.
  • Small business owners are concerned about the future. They are not the big corporations that can more easily pass on increased costs.

While the governor spent time discussing gay marriage, he neglected to acknowledge the men and women who own and run small businesses, the people who will be hit hardest under his $3.7 billion tax increase plan. Experts indicate businesses small and large would pay $1.5 billion more in taxes in 2015 alone. Additionally, Gov. Dayton’s plan is not the balanced solution he has advocated. Instead, the Dayton budget calls for $16 in tax increases for every $1 in spending reductions. 

Minnesota is on the path toward economic success, and even Gov. Dayton acknowledges that the policies implemented by Republicans over the last two years have worked. We’ve had positive economic forecasts for the past year; tens of thousands of jobs were created; the K-12 budget shift was largely reduced, and the list goes on. I believe now is not the time to dramatically increase government spending and force every hardworking Minnesotan to pay more in taxes.

Gun Control Legislation versus Balancing the Budget 

Some of our regularly scheduled committee meetings were interrupted last week as the House Public Safety Committee debated a series of highly controversial bills that address gun control in our state. Hundreds of concerned citizens from across the state descended on the Capitol to voice their concerns about the bills which they believe violate the Second Amendment. 

I have personally received over 100 calls and emails about this controversial issue. Last year, DFL lawmakers (and many in the media) roundly criticized Republicans when the legislature discussed defending marriage and implementing voter identification measures. Those efforts were described as “divisive social issues” that did not deserve to be discussed in the legislature. 

Now the new Democratic majority is concentrating its efforts and has spent (and will be spending) many hours of committee time on two similar divisive social issues – gay marriage and gun control – all before we have received line-by-line budget details from Governor Dayton’s administration or a budget proposal from House DFLers. Apparently, those issues are not considered “divisive” by DFLers or the media. What a difference a year makes.

As always, feel free to contact me at any time. I am honored to serve the people and priorities of our district. 

Have a great week,

Joyce

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