The Taxpayers League of Minnesota has a history of praising Republicans, but not so much in 2015. The fiscally conservative free-market organization’s latest scorecard cover features only State Senators and no House members. The League recognized Senators Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), Dan Hall, (R-Burnsville), Dave Osmek, (R-Mound), and Dave Thomspon, (R-Lakeville) for their 100% scores. Osmek was honored with their annual “Best Friend of the Taxpayer” award.
But the Senators are in the minority over in St. Paul, while the House holds the majority and had the power to craft the state budget which grew by 6.4% this last session from to $39.3 billion to $42 billion.
Speaker Kurt Daudt, (R-Crown) and Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, (R-Rogers) both received 50% “F” scores from the Taxpayer’s League. The two– like many of their colleagues– voted in favor of $300 million in additional K-12 spending, (for a total of $525 million in new spending.) to end the one-day special session. They also voted in favor of the $373 bonding (borrowing) bill in a non-bonding year and even though there was a $2 billion budget surplus.
Rep Dave Baker, (R-Willmar), also a part of House leadership, got a 33%, (only 4/12 fiscally conservative votes) lower than many House Democrats. So did Reps Tony Cornish (R-Vernon Center) and Tara Mack, (R-Apple Valley.)
Rep Eric Lucero got the highest score with 75% and Reps Jim Nash, Jim Newberger, Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington), Jerry Haratus, (R-Greenfield,) and Cindy Pugh, (R-Chanhassen) were recognized for their “passing grades” of 67%.
Over in the Senate, a 38% score (18 votes scored) went to Sens Jeremy Miller,(R-Winona), Carla Nelson (R-Rochester), and Julie Rosen, (R-Vernon Center).
The scorecard ranks votes on issues from Sunday Liquor sales and Uber regulations to minimum wage and light rail. Take a look at the scores for your legislator below or at www.taxpayersleague.org