Steve Drazkowski: Abortion bills, tax relief are moving through the Legislature
We are a few weeks into the new legislative session, and the pace has been hectic. Faster than any I can remember, in fact. Frankly, it has me worried about the future of our state.
The new Democrat majorities in the House and Senate are hellbent on keeping their out-of-step base voters happy and are forcing bills through without proper vetting. These are contentious and complex issues. Rushing them into law is simply reckless.
Extreme abortion bills rushed through the Senate
There is no greater example of extreme, controversial bills being jammed through the legislature than abortion. You might hear analysts say that this issue is one reason Democrats won in many places last fall. But I can promise you, the extreme bills they are pushing are heartbreakingly disconnected from where Minnesotans are on this issue:
- They allow abortions in the third trimester.
- They allow partial-birth abortions.
- They allow minors to be sterilized without parental consent.
- They allow abortions on minors without parental consent.
- They repeal the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act”, which tells doctors to take all reasonable measures to save babies that survive an abortion. (Thank God this is rare, but it does happen. Those babies need protection.)
- They repeal the Woman’s Right to Know law, which requires providers to disclose important information about the medical risks of abortion, the gestational age of the baby, and assistance and support that is available to the mother.
I have heard from a lot of constituents about this issue. As you’d expect, conservatives are outraged. But even many Democrats I have talked to are upset. Abortion is an issue that is divisive generally, but I am hearing widespread agreement that legalizing late-term abortions and partial-birth abortions is not the direction we want to go.
It’s a clear example of how out-of-touch Democrats in the legislature are with regular, working Minnesotans.
$100 million tax relief bill
There is some good news to be found. We quickly and unanimously passed a $100 million tax relief bill, referred to as tax conformity. This bill will help working Minnesotans, particularly those that were hurt by the governor’s arbitrary Covid-19 shutdowns.
The only reason these conformity measures weren’t in law already is that they did not pass the Democrat-led House last year.
While it should have been done last year, the tax relief bill was still a positive early session victory for Minnesotans – many of whom are still feeling intense strain on their checking accounts because of inflation and higher prices on gas, groceries, and energy. We have a lot more to do though. There’s a ridiculous $17.6 billion budget surplus. We have to cut taxes for the taxpayers who created it.
Meet my legislative assistant, Margaret Martin!
If you call my office, there is a good chance the first voice you hear will be that of Margaret Martin, my legislative assistant. Margaret and I have worked together for years, including most recently when I served in the House of Representatives. She has an in-depth knowledge of not only the legislature but of our entire state government, and there is nobody I would trust more to run our office.
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It is a privilege to serve you.
Steve Drazkowski is a Minnesota senator serving District 20, which covers Wabasha County and parts of Olmsted, Goodhue, Winona and Dakota counties. He was first elected to the Legislature in 2007. He lives in Mazeppa.