To the Editor,

We are in week three of the current session, and we have already seen a lot of activity. It was widely thought that this session would be more reserved and more “status quo,” considering Democrats went hog wild with their spending last year. I’d like to once again remind folks that Democrats not only spent the $19 billion surplus, but also passed numerous tax hikes alongside the spending. Yet somehow that wasn’t enough. They underestimated the cost of many of their bad ideas, and now they’re looking to fix those issues. I’m unsure how they expect that to play out when there will likely be a budget deficit down the line. 

One issue that’s been frequently brought up is making Minnesota a sanctuary state. The Democrats gave the bill a name that makes it sounds good, “The North STAR Act,” but it really disguises the troubling content of the bill. This bill would essentially direct law enforcement throughout the state to ignore federal law. I find it troubling that Democrats are continuing this theme of supporting laws that go against federal law – this is a slippery slope. And also a costly one. There is an undeniable crisis at the southern border, and there’s no telling how many additional illegal immigrants would come to Minnesota if it becomes a sanctuary state. Which begs the question, why would anyone want this? Considering we’re barreling towards a deficit, and we can’t even provide tax relief to the families already here, I’d say NO. Making Minnesota a sanctuary state is a disastrous call on all fronts – this is something we cannot afford.

To the surprise of no one, another gun-grabbing bill is being promoted. This one limits the guns that people can own and introduces a buyback program for turning guns in. It goes so far as to prohibit the sale of rifles with a pistol grip, folding stock, a rifle that uses a detachable magazine and more. A buyback program would also be established, allowing the commissioner to set a reimbursement rate. Democrats passed what they called “common sense” gun reform last year, and that was already too far. Now they’re going another step further. If Democrats had their way, Minnesota families would have no way to defend themselves in crisis or even enjoy shooting sports. Not to mention the fact that this would absolutely cripple the hunting industry. These ridiculous bills must stop. 

This is just a small selection of the bad bills that have already been brought forward without foresight. Democrats have warped priorities that I find incredibly concerning. They are passing costly bills with reckless abandon, failing to think about what they will cost families, and Minnesotans are just expected to foot the bill for them. One-party control is hurting our state and costing taxpayers dearly. We cannot afford these costly bills that seek to drive up the cost of life while limiting our rights and freedoms. 

Sen. Paul Utke,

Park Rapids, Minn.