Letter to the editor: Minnesota should prioritize working families, not millionaires

To the Editor:

Budgets are a reflection of our values and how we manage our priorities. People rely on budgets to buy groceries, pay mortgages and rent, put gas in their vehicles, set money aside for college tuition, save for retirement, or whatever else is a priority to a person or family.

At the state level, choices are made to prioritize and budget for what is important to Minnesotans. That’s why it’s extremely disappointing to know that a core priority of the current House Republican Majority is to provide deep tax breaks for wealthy estates valued at $5.4 million or more. Broken down, this would be approximately $161 million in state spending on tax cuts to the wealthiest Minnesotans, less than 2% of Minnesotans, across the state. $161 million is a lot of money and presents the opportunity to ask ourselves: What are our core values as a state? What should be our priorities? What makes Minnesota a leader?

Rather than spending $161 million of our state dollars on tax giveaways for the wealthy, we could:
• Prioritize our youngest learners by expanding early childhood education opportunities, benefiting up to 16,200 children statewide.
• Invest in the Working Family Credit, which would benefit over 370,000 working Minnesotans across the state to support their families’ basic needs.
• Freeze public college tuition to get skyrocketing costs under control and help reduce the student debt burden.
If House Republicans chose to prioritize and invest $161 million in hardworking families and students, instead of millionaires in their tax bill, Minnesotans could have better opportunities to get ahead and foster long term economic security for their families.

Connie Bernardy
State Representative
House District 41A

DFL Representative Connie Bernardy represents the communities of New Brighton, Fridley, and Spring Lake Park