Posts in Statement
Minnesota Should Reject "Amazon Sweepstakes," Champion Small Business

Recently, Governor Mark Dayton has expressed interest in joining the bidding war among metropolitan areas attempting to lure the Seattle online retail giant Amazon to the Twin Cities. MPR recently reported this rush to attract the Seattle company as the “Amazon HQ sweepstakes.” Tina Liebling, a DFL Candidate for Governor of Minnesota, released the following statement:

“I respectfully disagree with Governor Dayton’s planned participation in the “Amazon sweepstakes.” Minnesota is a great state for business, with a hard-working and well educated workforce, good schools, and a high quality of life. We should not and need not offer tax breaks to huge corporations that give them further advantages over Main Street businesses.

In the wake of Wisconsin’s FoxConn disaster, where the Chinese company was given massive tax breaks at the expense of everyday Wisconsinites, Minnesota should do right by its citizens and refuse to participate in the bidding war. Under a Liebling administration, we would welcome companies that want to relocate or expand in Minnesota and bring good jobs for Minnesotans. However, any requested “deal”—especially with companies whose business model drives may have negative impacts on Minnesota’s small businesses, natural resources, or other assets—must be evaluated by whether it has broad benefits for ordinary Minnesotans that outweigh any public costs and risks. If we keep making special deals for large corporations, we will continue to hurt small, local businesses in every Minnesota neighborhood.

Governor Dayton has done many good things for Minnesota, but this situation demonstrates the need to elect a true progressive to follow him and continue a move toward prosperity for all, not special breaks for huge corporations like Amazon. A better course of action for Minnesota would be to repeal the special tax benefits of the corporations and the very wealthy who have captured most of the benefit from the growing economy and increased productivity of workers. Then we should use the money to help ordinary Minnesotans get the education and health care they need, start small businesses, and revive our towns and local economies.”

StatementLindsay Jones
Liebling proposes legislation to level the playing field for communities threatened by loss of hospital services

AUGUST 21, 2017: Today, Attorney General Lori Swanson and officials from the Dayton Administration will meet with leaders of the “Save Our Hospital” organization to discuss potential solutions regarding the pending reorganization of Mayo Clinic Health Systems hospitals in Albert Lea and Austin.

Representative Tina Liebling (DFL, Rochester), a candidate for Governor of Minnesota, issued the following statement:

Residents of Albert Lea and the surrounding area were blindsided by the news that their community would lose general medical, intensive care, and obstetric inpatient services. I sympathize with their concerns about the impact on patients and on the future of their community. They know that having these services nearby can sometimes be a matter of life and death.

An important role of state government should be to “level the playing field” between Minnesotans and powerful entities with enormous impact on their lives, but current Minnesota law does not provide protection against sudden and arbitrary reduction in hospital services. That is why I will introduce legislation to insure that no other Minnesota community will be similarly blindsided.

My legislation will provide communities with advance warning when a hospital is targeted for closure or a substantial reduction in services. The Minnesota Department of Health—which licenses and oversees hospitals—would hold public hearings on the justification for the reduction and its impact before such changes could occur.

Hospitals enjoy enormous public support, but mergers and acquisitions of healthcare providers have reduced competition and sometimes leave patients with few options. It is reasonable to require these entities to explain to the public, and to the Minnesota Department of Health, why they believe that the decision to close a hospital or reduce services to a community is in the public interest, and to give the public a chance to weigh in.

StatementLindsay Jones
Statement: Yanez Trial Verdict

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Philando Castile, and to all who mourn him. His killing was a tragedy that should not have happened and the verdict today brings back the pain and horror of that day. While I share the outrage of many over the unnecessary killing and its aftermath, I do not blame the jury or even Officer Yanez. The law itself is to blame, and this is something that can and must be changed.

Minnesota law allows police to use deadly force "only when necessary to protect the peace officer or another from apparent death or great bodily harm" and to prevent death or great bodily harm to others. Whether the officer believes the force is "necessary" is examined only in the moment when the officer reacts, and it is hard for a jury to find beyond reasonable doubt that the officer did not have that fear at the moment he fired the gun.

Our law should require officers to avoid creating the situation in the first place-and police agencies should train and reward them for doing so. The officer's first obligation should be to protect the life and safety of everyone involved in an incident-whether a suspect, victim, or the officer-as it is in many other nations. This may mean waiting for backup before approaching a vehicle, setting up a perimeter and waiting out a suspect, or similar tactics. If we are to reduce the horrible killings of innocent people by police, we must change our laws.

StatementTina Liebling
Republican leaders booby traps bills, take Minnesota hostage. Budget threatens Minnesota’s future.

SAINT PAUL, MN – Yesterday, Governor Mark Dayton signed the majority of Minnesota’s two year state budget while line item vetoing the appropriations for the state legislature.

Rep. Tina Liebling (Rochester), the DFL-Health Policy Committee Lead, released the following statement:

“Speaker Kurt Daudt and the Republican legislative majority took Minnesota government hostage taking this week by planting a booby trap in the State Government Finance Bill to “insure” (as Speaker Daudt put it) Governor Dayton’s signature on their bloated, irresponsible tax bill.  The unconscionable and unconstitutional booby trap could have ended every function of state government by triggering a shutdown of the Minnesota Department of Revenue if Dayton vetoed the Republican tax bill. In response to the hostage-taking, Governor Dayton decided to pay the ransom by signing the tax bill.  He then responded in kind by vetoing the legislature’s entire budget.

“With their irresponsible, dark-of-night decisions the Republican legislature has put Minnesota on the road to future deficits that threaten everything Minnesotans value, including education, transportation, and a health care system that takes care of the elderly and those in need.”

Rep. Tina Liebling is the DFL Lead on the House Committee on Health and Human Services Reform.  

Statement: House Republicans health and human services bill will create chaos in Minnesota’s health care system

SAINT PAUL, MN—On Friday the Minnesota House passed the Republicans’ Omnibus Health and Human Services bill. The bill cuts $600 million from health and human services to accommodate more than a billion dollars in tax cuts, most of which go to the rich and well connected, and big businesses.

Rep. Tina Liebling (Rochester), the DFL-Health Policy Lead, released the following statement:

“Instead of making sure that Minnesotans have access to the health care they need, this bill would throw our current system into chaos.  It cuts funding that counties need to decide who is eligible for public programs, crippling that system.  It repeals our insurance exchange, MNsure, and puts Minnesotans at the mercy of the Federal insurance exchange—which may soon be repealed.  It pays for new spending with made-up savings that will never materialize, then cuts payments to health care providers to save money when those schemes fail. 

“The bill is full of shifts, tricks, and gimmicks. All Minnesotans need and deserve access to quality health care that they can afford, but this bill goes the wrong way.  Republicans legislators are handing hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to insurance companies, and to the ultra-wealthy and large corporations through tax cuts. I’m committed to making sure Minnesotans have an opportunity to get ahead, and that includes quality healthcare without going bankrupt.”

StatementLindsay Jones
Statement: House Republicans Jobs and Energy Bill endangers our environment

SAINT PAUL, MN— Today the Minnesota House passed the Republicans’ Omnibus Jobs and Energy bill. The bill cuts job creation efforts, consumer protections, racial & economic equity provisions, workforce housing, and rolls back Minnesota’s renewable energy progress.

Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester) released the following statement:

“Today the House of Representatives passed perhaps the worst “jobs and energy” bill the House has seen, especially in a time of surplus in the state’s budget.

“Minnesotans know climate change is real. Minnesotans value our outdoors, our clean air and our clean water, but House Republicans are attacking environmental protections. They eliminate the renewable development fund, which promotes clean energy; they deregulate oil and gas pipelines, threatening the progress we’ve made; they reduce the solar energy mandate for large energy producers, guaranteeing more dirty power; Republican legislators even blocked a measure to say climate change is real and is caused partly by humans. And an amendment debated and added on the House floor gives a huge gift to the Enbridge Corporation by allowing it to construct, own and operate a 340 mile-long pipeline “at its sole discretion.”

“In the bill, House Republicans cut racial equity programs by millions of dollars at a time when our state’s minority populations are struggling to be full participants in our economy and our state needs their full participation. The bill also cuts funding for “workforce housing,” which is in short supply, and funds for job creation programs that are effective around the state.

This bill is a slap in the face to Minnesotans who believe we should be moving forward together.

StatementLindsay Jones
Statement: Massive Republican tax cut proposal that passed House will create future deficits

SAINT PAUL, MN—Today, the Minnesota House Republicans passed their omnibus tax bill. The legislation costs $1.35 billion over the biennium.  Over four years the bill will spend more than $536 million on tax breaks for business property owners and more than $357 million on an expansion of the estate tax exemption.

Rep. Tina Liebling (DFL-Rochester) released the following statement:

“The bill passed today is an affront to common sense budgeting. Minnesota doesn’t account for inflation in our budget forecast, so our surplus is based on the idea that costs will be the same every year but revenues will grow.  When inflation is factored in, our projected budget surplus drops by more than $1.1 billion.  Cutting taxes by $1.3 billion—with more cuts in the future—is not prudent.  While there are some very worthy provisions in the bill, I do not think we should be giving tax cuts to large corporations and wealthy individuals. 

At the same time, Congress is considering ways to cut federal assistance to many programs and services that Minnesota relies on.  Passing enormous, deficit creating tax cuts at a time of such fiscal uncertainty makes this a bill that should not be passed.  

Minnesotans expect us to be prudent with the state’s budget and invest in things like education, infrastructure, health, and protecting our environment. My constituents did not send me to Saint Paul to vote for tax breaks that will hurt our ability to maintain the services that make Minnesota strong. ”

Rep. Liebling is the DFL Lead on the House Committee on Health and Human Services Reform. Rep. Liebling can be contacted by email at rep.tina.liebling@house.mn or phone at 651-296-7173.

StatementLindsay Jones