Home / News / House GOP reveals zero-based budgeting and permitting bills
While Senate Republicans put two of their most powerful members - Majority Leader Amy Koch and Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel - in front of the group's major "jobs bill," the House GOP plucked two freshman to carry the caucus' first major proposals of the session.

House GOP reveals zero-based budgeting and permitting bills

Rep. King Banaian, alongside Republican House leaders, introduced a susent and zero-based budgeting proposal. (Staff photo by Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

Rep. King Banaian, alongside Republican House leaders, introduced a sunset and zero-based budgeting proposal at a Capitol news conference Monday. (Staff photo by Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

While Senate Republicans put two of their most powerful members – Majority Leader Amy Koch and Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel – in front of the group’s major “jobs bill,” the House GOP plucked two freshmen to carry the caucus’ first big proposals of the session.

Freshman Rep. King Banaian, an economics professor from St. Cloud, outlined a bill that would enact zero-based budgeting for the next biennium and require a 10-year review by the Legislative Auditor on the sunset of all state agencies. Majority Leader Matt Dean called him the “Wayne Gretzky of economics” at a Capitol news conference Monday.

Freshman Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau, is carrying a GOP proposal to streamline the permitting and environmental review process for businesses. The proposal would establish a 150 day permitting goal for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources, bring environmental review decisions to the Court of Appeals instead of the slower district courts, and allow businesses to draft Environmental Impact Statements.

“This is what business owners say is keeping them from expanding in Minnesota,” House Speaker Kurt Zellers said.

House Democrats said the first two bills do little to deal with the state’s $6.2 billion budget deficit, which should be the Legislature’s first priority. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen said the Republican’s priorities line up closely with that of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses across the state.

“That says a lot about the direction this session is heading,” he said.

Here’s a brief rundown of the remainder of the first 10 House bills of the session.

H. F. 3: As chatter around the Capitol suggested, a bill to allow for alternative forms of teacher licensure cropped up in the first few bills of the 2011 session. DFL Rep. Carlos Mariani and Kim Norton are joined by returning GOP Rep. Sondra Erickson in bringing the proposal. The proposal is referred to the Education Reform Committee.

H. F. 4: GOP Rep. Keith Downey is the chief author on this proposal, which aims to reduce the state workforce and create an early retirement program. He is joined by representatives Steve Drazkowski, Zellers, Bruce Anderson and Peggy Scott. It will head to the Government Operations and Elections Committee.

H. F. 5: This proposal would implement a salary and wage freeze for state employees, brought by Republican Rep. Denny McNamara. It’s heading to the Government Operations and Elections panel.

H. F. 6: Brought by a Republican cadre of legislators, including Tony Cornish, Kelby Woodard, John Kriesel, Mike LeMieur, Tom Hackbarth, Ernie Leidiger and Scott, this bill would increase the penalty for criminal sexual conduct in the first degree. Naturally, the bill will go first to the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance panel.

H. F. 7: This bill aims to abolish a slew of mandates pertaining to local governments. The bill brought by Drazkowski, Banaian, Woodard, Fabian, Roger Crawford, Kurt Daudt, Bud Nornes and Bob Barrett will get its first hearing in the Government Operations and Elections Committee.

H. F. 8:
This human services bill seeks to start the “healthy Minnesota contribution program,” according to introductions, and redesign service delivery for lower-income MinnesotaCare enrollees. That is heading to Health and Human Services Reform. It’s brought by GOP representatives Steve Gottwalt, Sarah Anderson, Duane Quam and Woodard.

H. F. 9: Like in the Senate, House GOPers want to get rid of the ban on constructing new nuclear power plants. It heads to the Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee Tuesday. The bill was introduced by a long list of Republicans and some Democrats.

H. F. 10: While it wasn’t number one on its list, the House managed to sneak reducing the corporate tax rate into the first 10 bills. The bill was brought by GOPers Jenifer Loon, Sarah Anderson and Fabian. It will go to the Taxes Committee.

About Briana Bierschbach


  1. I am questing HR4 creating early retirement program. Are we going to have to pay for the retirement benefits for these early retirement? Why don’t they just have a 401K like the rest of us. Even the company that my husband worked for does not have a retirement plan anymore, along with other companies.. They just contribute to their 401K

  2. how do they plan on reducing the deficit with big tax breaks to large companies and corporations

  3. Come on Wayne- it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you lower corporate taxes it creates a more favorable business environment, which would in turn lure more companies to Minnesota and keep the ones that are already here from leaving like what is currently happening. Lower business taxes means the cost of those taxes doesn’t get passed through to the consumer thus lowering the costs of the goods and services being sold. More money in the pockets of the consumer means more money being spent in the economy. More money in the economy means more sales tax being paid to the State. More money in the companies accounts means they can pay their employees more, thus creating more jobs and happier workers. Happier workers with more money in their pockets means they will go out and spend it more, thus helping the economy. Happier consumers means more people will notice this and will hopefully move to Minnesota. More people moving to Minnesota will create a larger tax base. A larger tax base will help reduce the deficit. There. Did that help you Wayne?

    Ya, probably not.

  4. Come on Greg- It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that your make-believe scenario does not work. One of the things it DOES accomplish is a race to the bottom, of going broke. Your philosophy is that lowering taxes cures everything, solves all, and results in the tooth fairy leaving money under your pillow. … … … that is IF you are one of the corporations getting the tax break. There are far more factors in locating/expanding a business than your simplistic, inaccurate, and proven-to-not work method. … … … Reagonomics as called \voo-doo economics\ by Republican George Herbert Walker Bush and the facts are that your race-to-the-bottom simply adds debt, driving deficits higher, and re-distributes wealth to the upper class. … … I’d LOVE to see your evidence that cutting taxes makes a larger tax base and that cutting taxes reduces the deficit. Please… show me the proof. You cannot, because it is not true. There. Did that help you Greg?

    Ya, probably not. The GOP is fact-averse and rhetoric rich.

  5. I wanted to ask the same question Wayne asked and I wanted to ask it in sincerity hoping for a quick reply such as Greg provided. Yet I am really turned off by the lack of respect Greg had provided along with his great reply. Why do we need to indirectly refer to people who offer their feed back here as unintelligent unable to figure things out? It is unproductive of Greg to end his right to comment (as it was Wayne’s) with a rude “There. Did that help you Wayne? Ya, probably not.” ?????

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