Business interests oppose as DFL pushes final agenda

The Minnesota legislature is expected to finalize its $72 billion state budget this week and approve a range of new policies.

The Democrats, who control the House, Senate, and the Governor’s Office in the Capitol, enjoy popular support for the policy, which includes elements that have been maintained for years under the divided control of state governments. said.

But business groups, medical institutions and Republicans have said they have received little help in drafting the budget and may face higher costs and more mandates from states if the bill is passed.

Mayo Clinic earlier this month threatened to withdraw an investment or project It would be excluded from Minnesota unless a pair of provisions regarding transparency in healthcare pricing and hospital staffing levels are removed or changed from the broader healthcare bill.

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And as plans to introduce paid family and medical leave programs and boost state revenue with new taxes and fees pass the Capitol, some small business owners are considering moving across the border. says it does. Businesses will struggle financially if they find replacement workers or pay payroll taxes to fund family leave programs, they said.

“We’re based in Ohio, but we don’t actually act on these orders,” said Amet Shah, CEO of Burnsville-based technology consultancy Shah Corporation. said. “We compete nationally on what we can charge. So if the cost of doing business here continues to accelerate, it will be difficult for us to keep our jobs in Minnesota.”

The DFL’s position on taxes and family leave combined has fueled criticism from Minnesota’s business community. And the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce deemed the DFL’s agenda “anti-employer, anti-business.”

“I think this is a historic session because I think the potential costs and growth and spending that can be imposed are what really set the direction of the state. What worries me is that it’s on an unsustainable path,” said Beth Kadun, vice president of tax and fiscal policy at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

Lawmakers this week finalized the tax and transportation budget by proposing new fees for some parcels and food deliveries, raising the subway excise tax, raising income taxes for high-income earners, and raising income taxes for corporations and businesses. We plan to consider proposals such as new taxes. People who make money with capital gains.

DFL lawmakers said the state needs to bring in new revenue to fund schools, health programs, public safety and future infrastructure.

“We need to invest in this whole system, whether it’s in higher education or ties to build roads and bridges projects and sewage infrastructure. No. We have to think about what it’s worth investing in a system that our children and grandchildren will inherit,” said House Speaker Melissa Hortman (D-Florida) -Brooklyn Park said.

person speaking at a press conference

Waconia business owner Jody Tice on Monday voiced her opposition to the paid family and medical leave bill being proposed in the Capitol.

Dana Ferguson | MPR News

Republicans in the Capitol opposed efforts to impose new taxes and fees, arguing that states should draw from their $17.5 billion budget surplus to meet new spending needs.

“I don’t think Minnesotans expect a tax increase. We need to cut the government, and it targets all of government spending,” said Republican House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth of Cold Spring. Told. “Instead of piling up taxes and making it harder to do business, live here, or buy things you actually need, I think we need to look at ways to reduce taxes.”

The DFL plan is also gaining support from many people. Last week, unions, religious leaders, teachers and others gathered outside the Capitol building to support the DFLers and urge them to get the final budget. And he supported plans to impose a new tax on businesses to fund some of these budget proposals.

“We need to come together like we are now to stand up to the billions of dollars and make sure businesses pay the taxes they owe,” said Katina Neil Taylor, president of the Minneapolis Association of Teachers and Educational Aid Professionals. ‘ said.

“In Minnesota, we will not tolerate greedy corporations trying to block the policies our families need to thrive. In Minnesota, we put people first,” she continued. rice field.

The group also supports the creation of state paid leave programs, which it said will help ensure workers can take care of themselves and their families wherever they work. They said they would also support a new payroll tax that would eventually fund it.

“I’m willing to pay for it. My employees are willing to pay for it. It’s affordable. Otherwise, you’ll pay for the recovery out of your own pocket,” said Fast in Golden Valley. Alicia Jackson, who runs a class cleaning service, said:

Jackson said he had his gallbladder removed last year and had to shut down his business for three weeks while he recovered. If she had been able to receive a partial paycheck during her vacation, she wouldn’t have had to stress so much about making ends meet, she said. And many other women of color often carry that burden, she said.

“I was working all day every day to do absolutely nothing, but my bills were still due,” she said.

Lawmakers have set a May 22 deadline to complete their mandate. Legislative leaders said they hoped it would be completed sooner.

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