New year, new government and a new budget

KEYC News Now at 6 Recording
Published: Dec. 29, 2022 at 7:12 PM CST
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KEYC) - The clock ticks down for the start of 2023, which will bring not only bring a new year to Minnesotans, but a new government as well.

After the general elections in November, Minnesota democrats celebrated something no one in the state has seen since 2013. A state government trifecta: with democratic control in the governor’s office, as well as the state house and senate.

“We’ve been outnumbered,” said Sen. Rich Draheim (GOP), “but I don’t think it’ll be much different. I don’t think they’ll always get their way and get everybody on board in the senate, at least.”

“The DFL was given narrow majorities in the House and Senate - and I’m glad about that, but it’s gonna take bipartisanship to get solutions that people really buy into,” said Sen. Nick Frentz (DFL).

The topic on most lawmakers’ minds is the record budget surplus of $17.6 billion. Specifically, lawmakers prepare to face challenges of controlling this surplus during the legislative session, which starts on Jan. 3.

“New year, new budget,” said Rep. Bjorn Olson (GOP), “I’m very confident that money [surplus] is going to be spent by the democrats. I don’t see a whole lot of tax cuts or spending cuts.”

“We’ll try again this year to to eliminate the double tax on Social Security and try to do permanent tax cuts,” explained Sen. Draheim.

“My hope is that we, as Republicans, can give a little bit of that fiscal conservative look at things and say, ‘hey, we have the money. It’s one-time money.’ We cannot put it in a place that will increase our government spending into the future,” said Olson.

“Some of the democrat proposals include the rebate checks, a full repeal of social security tax, and other proposals, and I think it’s going to take compromise to get that done and I hope those things are part of the discussion,” said Sen. Frentz.

Sen. Rich Draheim said he has at least 49 bills to either introduce at the start of 2023.

Lawmakers all agree that compromise and bipartisanship will strengthen Minnesota’s legislature.

“My priorities are to work for the people of Minnesota on solution. And if not the whole bill, take a piece of it and insert it in one of the democrat’s bills,” said Sen. Draheim.

“If you want to have durable solutions, policies, and a budget that lasts, the more people that are supportive, the better, and that includes both republicans and democrats in the legislature,” said Sen. Frentz.