Legislative Watch, House Edition 2: Leidiger draws a line in the sand?

Freshman Rep. Ernie Leidiger (34A) continues to put himself out on a limb with some of the positions he has taken so far in the legislative session. Let’s take a look at the most notable ones.

Not surprisingly, Leidiger is opposed to Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposals to close over half of the state’s projected $6.2 billion deficit with increased taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans.  More interesting, though, was this line from Rep. Leidiger’s e-mail update to constituents:

At the same time, the Governor’s budget features tax hikes on health care providers, cuts home and community-based services by 4 percent and cuts nursing homes by 2 percent. 

Leidiger seems to be attacking Dayton’s proposed cuts here.  Will Leidiger commit to voting against any bill that has cuts for nursing homes and home/community-based services?  Is this one line in the sand that Leidiger won’t cross in terms of spending cuts?

  • Leidiger has also signed on as a co-author on H.F. 481.  This bill would “solve” the problem of budget cuts at the state level resulting in property tax increases at the city and county level.  How would it do so?  Simple — by prohibiting property tax levy increases by those local areas of government.  Local officials would have no recourse, except to pass those cuts on to their constituents by slashing their services as well.  Does this sound like a way to build Minnesota’s economy for the future?  Not to me, it doesn’t.  And I’m not the only one.
  • Although not a co-sponsor, Leidiger recently endorsed legislation in the House that would put a mandatory freeze on public school wages.  This puts Rep. Leidiger squarely in opposition with Candidate Leidiger, who said this during the campaign:

Local school boards need more control — Ernie Leidiger campaign website

The same Republicans who bristle under Federal mandates see no problem in placing mandates from the State level to lower levels of government while claiming to defend the rights of “local control”.  Shouldn’t we expect better?

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