Safer streets, less taxes, less fraud
Review Editor Rating: Star Tribune Opinion publishes a mix of national and local news comments online and in print every day. To contribute, click here.
In January, on these op-ed pages, I wrote about the Republican Senate’s agenda on track to help Minnesotans struggling to meet their daily needs, keep our streets safe, and empower parents in as partners in the education of their children.
We came up with some bold ideas: the biggest tax cut ever would have put about $1,000 back into family budgets each year. This was not a one-time rebate check, but ongoing, permanent tax relief to help you support yourself. Our bill also eliminated the unfair tax on Social Security benefits for our seniors.
We prioritized recruiting and retention bonuses for law enforcement to get more cops on our streets and voted to impose mandatory minimum sentences to stop judges unleashing violent, repeat criminals. .
We’ve stood with parents on common-sense policies, so they’re informed about classroom learning.
We have truly worked together to find common ground on bipartisan solutions. Our priorities as a Senate majority are based on what we hear statewide: working together to get Minnesota back on track.
Minnesotans are struggling with stubbornly high inflation — costing more than $800 a month — and people need relief. You deserve better than one-time rebate checks that disappear when the election is over. With a $9 billion budget surplus, we can permanently cut taxes for the middle class and help our Social Security seniors deal with the consequences of record high inflation.
In addition to allocating the surplus, we set the two-year budget next year. Previous budget proposals from Governor Tim Walz included billions in new spending and new taxes that would hurt low-income families and working people the most. We proudly supported the people of Minnesota against wasteful government spending proposals that used your tax dollars like a bottomless piggy bank. People expect a lot more accountability and oversight for your tax dollars.
When $250 million has been stolen from taxpayers and starving children, you expect consequences for those responsible. It is unacceptable that no one in the administration has been held accountable for not stopping the Feeding Our Future fraud. Every commissioner and every agency must be able to transparently account for the money they receive and we will do everything we can to prevent this from happening again.
Crime makes us all nervous. Violent crime is up 22% in 2021, aggravated assault by more than 30%, and 900 peace officers were assaulted last year. It’s too easy to commit a crime in Minnesota and get away with it. We will continue to support proven public safety measures: more cops, better training, tougher sentences for repeat violent offenders. By cracking down on violent criminals and supporting law enforcement, we will have safer communities.
This fall, the children returned to school for the first time in three years without looming hybrid or distance learning issues affecting their success. The setbacks students have struggled with during the pandemic have accelerated the drop in test scores. Nearly half of our students do not read at grade level.
Our children need to get on the right track and we need to partner with schools and parents to help them. Rather than onerous mandates and divisive political agendas, we support proven literacy and mental health programs so kids can focus on academics.
Senate Republicans have led the way on lower taxes, safer streets and prioritizing children in education. We all expect better than the waste, fraud and abuse from which the current administration suffers.
We spoke to voters from all corners of the state about their concerns — how they are battling the crushing impact of rising inflation. You told us how concerned you are about your children’s education and whether they have fallen behind. Many are appalled at the lack of support for the men and women of law enforcement who keep our communities safe and outraged at the way violent crime has spiraled out of control.
Minnesotans deserve leaders who will listen to their concerns and take action to address them. Republican legislative majorities will provide real solutions to the problems Minnesotans face every day.
Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, is the Minnesota Senate Majority Leader.