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Greg Davids wraps up legislative session, looks ahead to election

Mon, Jun 4th, 2012
Posted in All State of Minnesota

Greg Davids recently finished up his two-year term as the Republican Representative from District 31B in Minnesota, and is running for re-election this fall. While many politicians were working on the Vikings Stadium issue, Davids, who is the Chairperson of the Tax Committee, was working on a large tax bill designed to give tax relief to many Minnesotans. According to Davids, the tax bill was met with no objections.

Davids said it was nicknamed the “Smokin’ Hot Tax Bill.”

“It was the tax bill that nobody objected to, except for the governor,” said Davids.

Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the bill in May, two weeks after the end of the session, surprising many people.

“There was no reason for him to veto this bill,” said Davids. “It can only be for political reasons.”

Davids said Dayton had vetoed a previous tax bill, and gave reasons that he didn’t sign it. The legislature worked at fitting the bill to his specifications, but it was still turned down.

“This bill would have given property tax relief, relief to students, and first-time home buyers,” shared Davids. “This bill provided more jobs than the bonding bill and the Vikings stadium combined.”

Davids said his goal was to get the unemployed off the bench and working. He said this bill would have provided tens of thousands of jobs.

Davids was not pleased that so much time was spent on the Vikings Stadium bill, and

The circumstances surrounding the veto were unusual to Davids. He said normally he would receive a phone call informing him of the veto, but this time he learned it from Twitter. Davids also asked Governor Dayton to meet with him several times to discuss the bill, but received no response. He has not received a response from him since the veto, either.

“It’s a very unfortunate situation,” said Davids.

In November of 2010, when Davids was elected, the state of Minnesota had a $6.2 billion shortfall. According to Davids, there was a $1.3 billion surplus in April of 2012.

A problem with Minnesota government, as well as everywhere else, is the divide between Republicans and Democrats. Davids said he does not look at a Republican or Democrat, but what is a good idea. He believes the Smokin’ Hot Tax Bill was very balanced in that way, making both parties happy, and uniting laborers and businesses, something very rare.

Davids has been a representative for 20 years, and has been chairman ten years, and he said he has never had this kind of situation with a governor before.

“He wants it to be a ‘do nothing legislature,’ when really it’s a ‘do nothing governor,’” said Davids.

Davids did come up with a tax bill nicknamed “Davids Light,” that was signed by Governor Dayton. In this bill, Davids froze Local Government Aid (LGA) for 2012-2013, so local cities are certain to keep what they are getting currently. He is not happy that by vetoing the larger tax bill, Dayton denied money and tax relief to veterans, students, and nursing homes.

In his time in session, Davids had no tax increases, helped give Minnesota schools more money, and made no cuts to nursing homes.

Davids wrote legislation for the Veterans Cemetery to be in Fillmore County.

“I don’t think people realize what a big deal this is,” he said. “The economic impact is huge. I’m very excited about it.”

The cemetery will be a resting place for veterans from Southeast Minnesota, Northeast Iowa, and Western Wisconsin.

“We will have a beautiful cemetery for our veterans, and they deserve that.”

Davids commended the Fillmore County Commissioners for “stepping up to the plate and making a donation of 153 acres of beautiful land.”

Davids is running against Ken Tschumper in the election, and he is excited about the race. And if he wins the re-election, he is going to try again to get the tax bill passed that will help out thousands of Minnesotans.

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