From Rep. Brian Johnson <[email protected]>
Subject Legislative Update - Rep. Brian Johnson
Date May 13, 2023 2:15 PM
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Legislative Update

Friends and Neighbors,

This week has been a rush of conference committee reports as the majority makes a joke of the legislative process. Numerous joint committees have zero Republican representation to influence the final versions of these bills. This has made it extremely difficult for the public to have their voice heard on many of these controversial topics. Especially for cases like with the Public Safety Omnibus where amendments were posted just 14 minutes before the hearing and were adopted with no public testimony.

The theme for this budget should be a lack of accountability. A lack of accountability for billions of dollars in surplus and new taxes. We started this session with over $17.5 billion and not only has that been spent in the new budget but an additional $9.5 billion in new taxes to fund even more spending.

A lack of accountability for violent criminals. The Public Safety bill reduces the mandatory minimums for violent criminals and those convicted of gun crimes. A public safety bill should do just that, focus on keeping the public safe, but this does the exact opposite by removing consequences for those who are victimizing Minnesotans.

The bill also includes two anti-Second Amendment provisions that received bipartisan opposition during this session. Both Red Flag and Universal Background checks were added in conference committee with no public testimony taken. These two pieces of legislation have been highly contested this year.

These Omnibus bills also show a lack of accountability to the Constitution by disregarding numerous point for that govern interstate commerce and the full faith and credit of other state?s laws. Included are environment and energy bill that adds restrictions on the electrical grid that is shared with North Dakota and who have stated they intend a law suit over these regulation. As well the multiple ?sanctuary state? bills that could be used as a defense to harboring criminals from other states.

Clearly constitutional concerns are not an issue as the Judiciary Bill includes a blatant disregard of the First Amendment. A new ?Bias Registry? would give the department of human rights a database for citizens to report acts that are not criminal but could make someone feel unsafe. By their own admission this includes speech as simple as questioning the origins of the covid 19 virus or wearing clothing for or against certain political movements. This is blatantly opposed to the spirit of our bill of rights yet will likely become law in the next few days.

What?s not included in the judiciary portion of the bill is language to protect children that the House GOP fought for and was unanimously supported when the amendment came to a vote. This was a provision in the human rights act to explicitly state that other changes being added did not include pedophilia. We should all agreed that pedophilia is not a sexuality as defined by the human rights act, yet for some reason that portion was removed in conference.

As we?ve often said this session, this is bonkers. The lack of accountability and mismanagement of our state and tax dollars is bonkers. I hope that soon we will be able to retire that phrase for good governance and fiscal responsibility.

Contact Me

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you or your family on a matter of state government. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-4346 [ tel:6512964346 ] or by email at [email protected].

Have a great week.

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