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House GOP Leaving Minnesotans Behind

WAVE 4Who’s left behind?

Republicans are leaving kids and students behind — Despite a $2 Billion surplus, the House Republican budget drastically underfunds education. That means teacher layoffs, next to no investment in our earliest learners and higher tuition for Minnesota’s college students.

Republicans are leaving Greater Minnesota behind — Despite the rhetoric from Republicans on the campaign trail last year, they are ignoring Greater Minnesota. Their plan underfunds broadband infrastructure, underfunds rural schools and ignores oil trail safety.

They’d rather support corporate special interests

The big winners in the House Republican budget? Corporations and big business.

What are the House Republicans giving away? (more…)

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2015 Session: One Big April Fools Joke

MN DFL April Fools NewsIt being April Fools’ Day, House Democrats are calling attention to the numerous examples where House Republicans are breaking the promises they’ve made to Minnesotans.

 “Before the 2015 session began House Republicans promised they would prioritize hardworking Minnesotans, education, and greater Minnesota,” said House DFL Leader Paul Thissen. “But so far, the 2015 session has been one big April Fools’ joke on Minnesotans. Corporate special interests have been their top priority – not hardworking Minnesotans.”


Read more in the April Fools’ Edition of House Republican Daily News below – all of the false headlines fit to print:


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Republicans work to undo two years of DFL progress in two days

Courtesy of Capitol Chatter

Courtesy of Capitol Chatter

In the span of two days, the Republican majority in the Minnesota House of Representatives proposed to erase two years of progress for working families secured by Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL legislators.

“In a 48-hour time period, House Republicans put Minnesotans on notice that they are recycling their failed policies of the past,” said DFL Chairman Ken Martin. “This is a far cry from Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL legislators plans to invest in children, students and families for long-term success.”

House Republicans finally acknowledge that Gov. Dayton is correct and that Minnesota is facing a multi-billion dollar, multi-year fix for our deteriorating roads and bridges, yet they still haven’t figured out how to honestly pay to get the job done.

“Reminiscent of years past, Republicans want to shift money around to meet financial obligations,” Martin said. “They want to take money from the general fund to pay for roads and bridges, all so they can maintain a rigid ideological approach to governing.


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Minnesota House GOP Borrows from Peter to Pay Paul

Kurt DaudtGOP lawmakers unveiled a $7 billion, 10-year roads plan with no gas tax hike.

They would pay for their proposal with:

  • “Re-dedicating” existing sales tax on auto parts, rental vehicles, vehicle leasing. This means shifting money from the general fund to pay for road and bridge repairs. The two largest areas of the general fund are education and health care. . .so Republicans are pitting road and bridges against children and seniors.
  • highway bonds
  • general bonding
  • “realigning resources” at the Minnesota Department of Transportation
  • $228 million from the state’s budget surplus.

Any funding that isn’t dedicated per the constitution to Minnesota roads and bridges is funding that cannot be relied on to continue from one year to the next because it is money that is almost certain to entirely disappear or be significantly reduced – this is a budget gimmick.

The GOP proposal also includes far less money for transit projects than Gov. Dayton’s proposal. While the proposed metro sales tax hike in several DFL proposals would raise hundreds of millions in new, annual transit funds, the GOP plan directs a total of $64 million to transit statewide over the next two years.

In stark contrast, Gov. Dayton’s plan would invest $6 billion over the next 10 years to address the state’s highway funding deficit, invest $2.356 billion in local government transportation projects, and provide $2.92 billion for transit systems across Minnesota. The Governor’s proposal would create an estimated 119,000 new jobs, and build the infrastructure necessary to meet the demands of a growing population and an expanding state economy.

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GOP Tip Penalty Bill on House Floor Today

TipsEarlier this year, GOP Reps. Garafolo and Hamilton introduced a tip penalty bill, HF 1027, which has since been heard and passed by the House Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy & Finance and House Ways & Means committees on party line votes. It will be on the House floor today, Monday, March 23.

The bill REPEALS last year’s minimum wage legislation for workers who earn tips, by creating a tip penalty that would set a new, lower minimum wage and eliminate indexing for workers who earn tips.

Proponents argue that the proposed legislation does not lower tipped workers’ wages. That is simply not true. The fact is this legislation will LOWER tipped workers’ wages by more than $1.50 per hour and it will FREEZE tipped workers’ wages guaranteeing workers’ wages will lose value every year.

Here are the facts:

  • No matter what supporters call this, it’s a tip penalty.
  • This would repeal, lower, and freeze the minimum wage for tipped workers.
  • If workers average more than $4/hour in tips, their base wage is cut to $8/hour.
  • Tips should be used to reward a worker for good service, not as an excuse for employers to pay workers less.
  • Customers shouldn’t be forced to subsidize sub-minimum wage pay.
  • We don’t let other industries pay workers below minimum wage.
  • We need to raise workers’ wages, not cap them. The minimum wage is intended to be a floor on wages, not a cap on wages. A tip penalty turns the minimum wage into a cap on wages for tipped employees.
  • The minimum wage increased in August and Minnesota’s hospitality industry is experiencing record job growth.
  • While servers can make above the minimum wage, most are NOT employed in expensive restaurants. The median wage for servers in Minnesota, including tips, is $9.36 per hour.
  • States with tip penalties have a higher poverty rates for servers. Restaurant servers, the largest group of tipped employees, experience poverty at nearly three times the rate of the workforce as a whole. It’s simply wrong for anyone who works full-time to live in poverty.
  • Women hold most of the jobs that are affected by the minimum wage. About 70 percent of servers are women. In Minnesota, women lose nearly $8 billion per year due to the pay gap. We need to eliminate the pay gap, not grow it.
  • There’s no evidence that a tip penalty for servers leads to better pay for cooks and dishwashers. Research shows that kitchen staff in states with a tip penalty are usually paid less than they are in Minnesota.

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