2012 Session Summ ary

16 t h A n n u a l

Legislative Scorecard • 2012
2012 Best Friends of the Taxpayer
The legislators pictured below committed to vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes by signing the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” They also received a score of 100% on our 2012 Legislative Scorecard. They deserve special recognition for their efforts to balance the state budget without a tax increase.

Representative Bruce Anderson R-Buffalo Twp. (19A) 12 th Award

Representative Mike Benson R- Rochester (30B) 1st Award

Representative Kurt Daudt R- Crown (17A) 1st Award

Representative Representative Representative Senator Representative Bob De Dettmer ttmer Steve Drazkowski Sondra Erickson Chris Gerlach Glenn Gruenhagen R- Forest Lake R- Mazeppa R- Princeton R- Apple Valley R- Glencoe (52A) (28B) (16A) (37) (25A) 1st Award 3rd Award 1st Award 3rd Award 1st Award

Senator David Hann R-Eden Prairie (42) 3rd Award

Representative Representative Representative Representative Andrea Kieffer Mary Kiffmeyer Branden Petersen Duane Quam R- Andover R-Byron R- Big Lake R- Woodbury (49B) (16B) (29A) (56B) 1st Award 1st Award 2nd Award 1st Award

Representative Linda Runbeck R-Circle Pines (53A) 4th Award

Representative Peggy Scott R- Andover (49A) 1st Award

Representative Doug Wardlow R- Eagan (38B) 1st Award

n January lawmakers from both parties and Democrat Governor Mark Dayton started the 2012 legislative session with the same commitment to job creation, but with very different plans on how to achieve that goal. This tug of war lasted throughout the entire session.

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2012 Session Summary
on creating jobs by enacting a package of government streamlining initiatives aimed at reducing complex business regulations and providing much needed business property tax relief. Early April lawmakers passed a bill to reduce the $2.4 billion in delayed school aid payments by $430 million. Gov. Dayton let politics get in the way of policy and vetoed the bill that would have made good on the state’s promise to schools. With the session deadline in site, lawmakers passed and sent to Gov. Dayton their first omnibus tax bill. Within 24 hours, Dayton vetoed the bill which would have provided over $70 million in tax relief. In an attempt to compromise with Gov. Dayton, one week later lawmakers sent a second tax relief proposal to the Governor. This scaled back version of their first bill would have again provided property tax relief for all commercial and industrial property with a levy freeze. While their second tax bill awaited approval from the governor, the legislature passed a bonding bill bigger than either proposal from the House or the Senate. The more than $500 million dollar bonding bill was a session win for Democrats and was quickly signed by Gov. Dayton. With session days waning and the media hyping a lack of achievement, the Vikings stadium rhetoric began to ramp up. Vikings lobbyists increased the pressure on lawmakers to give into Dayton’s demand for action on a proposed billion dollar taxpayer funded stadium. The tactic worked and Republican leadership capitulated and agreed to give the stadium bill another hearing. With this decision, the billion dollar stadium deal, that had previously fizzled, gained unstoppable momentum. On the final day available for voting, the stadium deal that was created behind closed doors between Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and wayward Republicans, cleared its final hurdle. The bill was signed into law by Governor Dayton at a pep rally style press conference four days later. With no legislative days remaining, lawmakers adjourned and Gov. Dayton eliminated any form of property tax relief with a pocket veto of the second tax bill. In the end Republican leadership was unsuccessful at leveraging any of their conservative agenda. Instead they capitulated to Gov. Dayton’s demands for more debt and taxpayer funding of a billion dollar sports palace.

The February budget forecast revealed an unexpected $1.2 billion budget surplus for the current biennium. The first use of the additional revenue went to restore the state’s budget reserve. Republicans focused

Governor Dayton Blocks Government Reforms

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n his first 18 months in office Gov. Dayton has used the veto pen at a record pace.

have started to return a portion of the $2.4 billion in delayed payments to school districts. Fortunately legislators were able to fight off his sales tax increase, but Dayton succeeded in pushing a taxpayer funded Vikings stadium that will cost taxpayers more than $1.2 billion. He also pushed for increasing the state’s debt by $550 million, bringing our total state debt including previous bonding commitments to well over $5 billion. With a projected billion dol-

He has vetoed 54 bills in two years, which is more vetoes than Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty did in his entire first term. Gov. Dayton’s 2012 vetoes were a thinly veiled effort to play politics; vetoing not only proposals that would have offered much needed property tax relief, but also numerous government reforms. Dayton even vetoed a bill that would

lar budget shortfall in the next biennium, Gov. Dayton has succeeded in creating a spending crisis. To date, he has shown little concern for how the state will meet its spending obligations in the future. There is little doubt that by the time the legislature convenes next January he will be calling for a massive tax increase.

I'm not dropping that,” Dayton said of his proposal to raise taxes on millionaires. “We will come in with it as the lead in to the 2013 session, regardless of the outcome of the election.”
—Star Tribune, December 7th 2011

STATE SENATE
R A T I N G

2012 VOTE DESCRIPTIONS
2012%

Dist/Party Name
6 49 43 16 4 53 64 21 38 25 60 59 46 14 12 37 13 50 40 42 67 61 58 10 28 11 48 63 19 20 47 9 44 56 32 8 22 54 66 39 41 31 30 18 17 33 34 65 26 15 7 45 35 24 3 29 23 57 2 27 1 36 5 62 52 55 51 DFL R DFL R R R DFL R R R DFL DFL DFL R R R R DFL R R DFL DFL DFL R R R R DFL R DFL R DFL DFL R R DFL R DFL DFL DFL R R R R R R R DFL R R DFL DFL R R DFL R DFL DFL DFL DFL DFL R DFL DFL R DFL R Bakk, Thomas M. Benson, Michelle R. Bonoff, Terri E. Brown, David M. Carlson, John Chamberlain, Roger C. Cohen, Richard J. Dahms, Gary H. Daley, Theodore J. "Ted" DeKruif, Al Dibble, D. Scott Dziedzic, Kari Eaton, Chris A. Fischbach, Michelle L. Gazelka, Paul E. Gerlach, Chris Gimse, Joe Goodwin, Barb Hall, Dan D. Hann, David W. Harrington, John M. Hayden, Jeff Higgins, Linda Hoffman, Gretchen M. Howe, John Ingebrigtsen, Bill Jungbauer, Michael J. Kelash, Kenneth S. Koch, Amy T. Koenen, Lyle Kruse, Benjamin A. Langseth, Keith Latz, Ron Lillie, Ted H. Limmer, Warren Lourey, Tony Magnus, Doug Marty, John McGuire, Mary Jo Metzen, James P. Michel, Geoff Miller, Jeremy R. Nelson, Carla J. Newman, Scott J. Nienow, Sean R. Olson, Gen Ortman, Julianne E. Pappas, Sandra L. Parry, Mike Pederson, John C. Reinert, Roger J. Rest, Ann H. Robling, Claire A. Rosen, Julie A. Saxhaug, Tom Senjem, David H. Sheran, Kathy Sieben, Katie Skoe, Rod Sparks, Dan Stumpf, LeRoy A. Thompson, Dave Tomassoni, David J. Torres Ray, Patricia Vandeveer, Ray Wiger, Charles W. Wolf, Pam

1
+ + + + + + * + + + + + + + + + + + * + * * + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

2
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + + + +

3
+ + + + * + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

4
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + +

5
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + +

6
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + -

7
+ + * + * + -

LIFE%

(HF=House File / SF=Senate FIle)

0 86 43 71 43 71 0 71 86 71 43 29 29 43 86 100 43 0 86 100 0 29 0 86 57 43 43 0 43 0 71 0 14 71 100 43 43 29 29 29 43 43 43 86 71 43 86 0 86 43 14 29 43 43 0 43 0 0 0 0 14 100 0 29 86 9 71

17 85 25 75 65 80 10 75 85 80 11 29 29 71 85 87 57 5 80 91 10 29 7 90 70 68 76 0 81 0 75 13 15 80 91 9 65 18 15 13 76 65 65 80 80 74 88 6 81 65 15 26 75 59 10 68 7 11 19 16 15 95 14 6 86 21 75

1) IT’S ELEMENTARY: PAY BACK WHAT YOU BORROW
You don’t have to be an ‘A’ student to know that debt reduction saves interest costs and is fiscally responsible for long-term financial health. Keeping cash in the state's account while our schools are forced to borrow money from banks does not make sense. A vote to repay the K-12 school aid shift was a vote to make timely payments to our schools. The taxpayer friendly vote was to support this bill. (HF2083 / SF2492) Governor Vetoed

2) TAX RELIEF = JOB CREATION
The first omnibus tax bill reduced the tax burden shouldered by business owners; enabling them to reinvest in their businesses and thereby create more jobs. This legislation contained several tax credits and had a phase out of the state property tax paid by businesses. It also provided targeted property tax relief for homeowners. The taxpayer friendly vote was to support this bill that would have provided $72 million in tax relief. (HF2337 / SF1972) Governor Vetoed

3) SECOND CHANCE FOR TAX RELIEF
Following Gov. Dayton’s veto of the first omnibus tax bill, lawmakers continued to fight for tax reform and quickly passed a second scaled back tax bill. The second bill provided $46 million in tax relief over the next two years and froze the state tax property tax levy for businesses. It also gave a tax credit for hiring veterans. A vote in favor of this bill was the taxpayer friendly vote. (HF247 / SF872) Governor Pocket Vetoed

4A) SENATE STADIUM SWINDLE
The Vikings stadium bill that passed the Senate not only put Minnesota taxpayers on the hook for $523 million from the State’s general fund to finance a billion dollar private enterprise, but it also committed taxpayers to give the City of St. Paul $2.7 million a year for the next 20 years. It included a tax increase on charitable gaming and a tax for online purchases to pay for a billion dollar sports palace. The taxpayer friendly vote was to sack the billionaire and oppose this bill. (SF2391)

4B) HOUSE BILLIONAIRE BAILOUT
Although the Vikings stadium bill that originally passed the House was slightly better than the Senate’s, with a larger contribution from the Vikings, it was still a bad deal for taxpayers. The bill was just a taxpayer funded bailout for Vikings owner Zygi Wilf. It put Minnesota taxpayers on the hook for $443 million from the State’s general fund. The best thing for taxpayers was to vote ‘No’ on the “Billionaire Bailout”. (HF1485)

5) A BILLION DOLLAR SPORTS PALACE FOR THE BILLIONAIRE
The final Vikings stadium bill that was passed and signed into law was the worst of both stadium proposals. It will be the largest public works project in Minnesota history and unlike other public works projects, this one is shrouded in secrecy – keeping the public from knowing the Vikings true financial worth. It will cost Minnesota taxpayers an estimated total of $1.2 billion from the general fund. The taxpayer friendly vote was to oppose taxpayer funding of a private enterprise. (HF2958 / SF2469)

6) HALF A BILLION DOLLARS MORE DEBT
Construction has yet to start on many of the projects included in last years $531 million bonding bill, but that didn’t stop lawmakers from passing a second bonding bill for the biennium adding another $566 million of debt to the taxpayer credit card. The taxpayer friendly vote was to show fiscal restraint and oppose adding to the State’s long term debt. (HF1752 / SF1463)

7) OUTDOOR ENTERTAINMENT FUND FAILS TAXPAYERS
Special interest spending wasn’t limited to sports this session, a “Legacy Bill”, which contains nearly $100 million worth of taxpayer funded projects, was passed and signed into law as well. The “Arts and Entertainment” bill gives $600,000 to the Minnesota Film and TV Board to subsidize film production in Minnesota as well as millions of dollars to other unnecessary projects. There are more responsible ways to spend the money within the guidelines of this constitutionally dedicated tax. The taxpayer friendly vote was to vote “no.” (HF2430 / SF2493)

LEGEND: “+”= pro-taxpayer vote “–”= anti-taxpayer vote “*”= did not vote

HOUSE
Party Name
R DFL R R R R DFL DFL R R R DFL R R DFL R DFL DFL DFL R R R R DFL R R DFL DFL R R R DFL R R DFL R DFL R DFL R DFL DFL R R R R R DFL DFL DFL DFL R R DFL DFL DFL R DFL DFL DFL DFL R R R R DFL DFL Abeler, Jim Allen, Susan Anderson, Bruce Anderson, Diane Anderson, Paul Anderson, Sarah Anzelc, Tom Atkins, Joe Banaian, King Barrett, Bob Beard, Michael Benson, John Benson, Mike Bills, Kurt Brynaert, Kathy Buesgens, Mark Carlson, Sr. Lyndon Champion, Bobby Joe Clark, Karen Cornish, Tony Crawford, Roger Daudt, Kurt Davids, Greg Davnie, Jim Dean, Matt Dettmer, Bob Dill, David Dittrich, Denise Doepke, Connie Downey, Keith Drazkowski, Steve Eken, Kent Erickson, Sondra Fabian, Dan Falk, Andrew Franson, Mary Fritz, Patti Garofalo, Pat Gauthier, Kerry Gottwalt, Steve Greene, Marion Greiling, Mindy Gruenhagen, Glenn Gunther, Bob Hackbarth, Tom Hamilton, Rod Hancock, David Hansen, Rick Hausman, Alice Hilstrom, Debra Hilty, Bill Holberg, Mary Liz Hoppe, Joe Hornstein, Frank Hortman, Melissa Hosch, Larry Howes, Larry Huntley, Thomas Johnson, Sheldon Kahn, Phyllis Kath, Kory Kelly, Tim Kieffer, Andrea Kiel, Debra Kiffmeyer, Mary Knuth, Kate Koenen, Lyle

OF
2012%

REPRESENTATIVES
R A T I N G

R A T I N G

2012%
43 43 43 100 43 43 14 29 0 43 86 86 100 14 14 0 71 86 71 43 43 0 0 0 29 43 0 43 43 86 0 43 0 43 29 0 100 0 100 0% 0 100 14 100 57 57 43 100 57 0 14 14 57 86 57 0 14 43 43 43 29 0 100 43 14 71 86

1
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + *

2
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + -

3
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + * + + + + + *

4
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + *

5
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + *

6
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + *

7
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

LIFE%

Party
R DFL R R R DFL DFL DFL DFL DFL R R R DFL DFL DFL R R R R R DFL DFL DFL DFL R DFL DFL R R DFL R DFL R DFL DFL R DFL R DFL DFL R DFL R R DFL R R R DFL DFL DFL R R R DFL DFL R R R DFL DFL R R DFL R R

Name
Kriesel, John Laine, Carolyn Lanning, Morrie Leidiger, Ernie LeMieur, Mike Lenczewski, Ann Lesch, John Liebling, Tina Lillie, Leon Loeffler, Diane Lohmer, Kathy Loon, Jenifer Mack, Tara Mahoney, Tim Mariani, Carlos Marquart, Paul Mazorol, Pat McDonald, Joe McElfatrick, Carolyn McFarlane, Carol McNamara, Denny Melin, Carly Moran, Rena Morrow, Terry Mullery, Joe Murdock, Mark Murphy, Erin Murphy, Mary Murray, Rich Myhra, Pam Nelson, Michael V. Nornes, Bud Norton, Kim O'Driscoll, Tim Paymar, Michael Pelowski, Jr.Gene Peppin, Joyce Persell, John Petersen, Branden Peterson, Sandra Poppe, Jeanne Quam, Duane Rukavina, Tom Runbeck, Linda Sanders, Tim Scalze, Bev Schomacker, Joe Scott, Peggy Shimanski, Ron Simon, Steve Slawik, Nora Slocum, Linda Smith, Steve Stensrud, Kirk Swedzinski, Chris Thissen, Paul Tillberry, Tom Torkelson, Paul Urdahl, Dean Vogel, Bruce Wagenius, Jean Ward, John Wardlow, Doug Westrom, Torrey Winkler, Ryan Woodard, Kelby Zellers, Kurt

1
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

2
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

3
+ + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + + + * + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

4
+ + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + * + + + + + + + +

5
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + + + + +

6
+ + + * * + + + * + + + + + + + -

7
+ + + + + + + + + + + + + * + + + + + + + + + + + + + +

43 43 100 86 43 86 0 0 71 71 43 14 100 100 0 71 29 14 43 43 86 100 43 43 86 100 0 14 57 100 100 0 100 43 29 86 14 57 0 43 43 57 100 43 86 43 100 43 43 0 29 100 43 29 0 0 43 0 14 43 14 57 100 43 100 0 14

52 43 96 80 64 81 1 7 70 75 75 12 85 90 0 88 19 6 11 66 80 90 72 13 85 88 8 20 72 82 92 18 85 65 6 85 9 72 0 74 20 20 90 68 78 66 85 11 11 13 16 87 81 11 8 11 58 11 12 12 26 74 85 60 88 4 12

65 4 60 90 65 37 13 18 7 11 90 76 74 13 8 25 75 80 75 60 64 0 5 3 17 68 1 13 60 80 10 69 18 65 16 25 93 0 85 17 9 95 17 95 80 21 65 90 86 8 18 4 76 80 70 10 1 74 63 65 10 0 90 74 7 75 85

LIFE%

The 2012 Session – A Missed Opportunity

R
Phil Krinkie
Taxpayers League of Minnesota President

egardless of how policy makers would like to characterize the session, there is a phrase that comes to mind by American author H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity.”
The 2012 legislative session was disappointing not only for what they did, but also for what they failed to do. For the first time in 38 years both the House and Senate were controlled by Republicans who ran on a promise to reduce the size of government and provide tax relief to hard working Minnesotans. In January Republicans gathered at the State Capitol to present an “aggressive” reform agenda which called for tax relief and government reform. Early in the session the budget forecast brought news of a billion dollar budget surplus. This should have cleared the way for swift progress and a speedy conclusion to the session, yet it took the conservative majority three months to send their first tax reform bill to Gov. Dayton.

Rather than working to enact the priorities that got them elected; Republican legislators let Gov. Dayton set the agenda and wasted time on meaningless hearings, meetings with Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, and approving a long list of public pork projects.

In the end GOP lawmakers failed to accomplish any of their major goals and succumbed to Gov. Dayton’s desire to increase the state’s debt and approve a taxpayer funded billion dollar sports palace.

What Is The Taxpayer’s Protection Pledge?
ard working Minnesotans already pay enough in state and local taxes. Our budget problems are not the result of a lack of revenue, but are caused by excessive spending.

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The “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” is simple, it merely states that the candidate will oppose placing any additional tax burden on Minnesotans to operate the necessary functions of state government.

Before you support or vote for any candidate check to see if they have signed the “Pledge” at: www.taxpayersleague.org.

I, _______________, pledge to the taxpayers of the _____ district of the state of Minnesota and all the people of this state that I will oppose and vote against any and all efforts to increase taxes.
Signature _______________________ Witness _____________________ Date___________________________ Date _______________________
Taxpayers League of Minnesota • 14O2 Concordia Avenue • St. Paul MN 551O4

Taxpayers League of Minnesota 1402 Concordia Avenue St. Paul, MN 55104

Standard U.S. Postage PAID Capitol Direct

Join The Taxpayers League of Minnesota and Help us Fight the Liberal Tax-and-Spend Agenda!

D
Harold Hamilton
Chairman of the Board Taxpayers League of Minnesota

ear Friends,

This is a critical year in Minnesota politics and the Taxpayers League 2012 Legislative Scorecard will be a key tool for voters as candidates vie for support in their new legislative districts. We are determined to protect Minnesotans from another tax increase by educating voters on how legislators voted on tax and spending issues in the 2012 session. As we look to the November election please remember that Governor Dayton is deeply committed to raising taxes. We need your continued support to stop him! Here is what you can do today to ensure Dayton doesn’t increase your taxes. 1) Contribute today; $200, $100, $50 or even $25 A gift of any size will help defeat a tax increase! 2) Get Involved; sign up at www.taxpayersleague.org to receive our weekly updates and legislative alerts! I hope you will join me in our efforts to educate voters on how lawmakers spent your money. Please join me in this effort to inform voters and send your contribution today! Sincerely,

Harold has been a dedicated taxpayer advocate and committed freedom fighter for Minnesota. He founded the Minnesota Watchdog in 2005 and serves as the Taxpayers League Chairman of the Board. He steadfastly supports efforts to slow the growth of government and the fight for economic freedom.

P.S. Please use the enclosed envelope to send your contribution today!

www.taxpayersleague.org • 651-789-0092