Minnesota GOP Platform


Standing Platform


The Republican Party, the party that abolished slavery, stands for equal opportunity for all Americans. We believe that:
bulletNeither the federal government nor any agency of the State of Minnesota should classify its citizens by race or discriminate among its citizens on the basis of race, color or religion.


bulletYounger Americans should be able to save for the future and build their net worth by investing a portion of their Social Security payments in their own retirement accounts, at the same time that we fulfill our commitments to older Americans.


bulletThe key to opportunity for our children is a good education, and the best way to ensure quality education is to return control to parents and local school boards, emphasize basic skills and knowledge of core subjects, and allow parents to choose the schools that best meet their children’s needs.

The Republican Party steadfastly resisted Communist aggression until the Cold War was won. We think that peace can best be maintained through strength, both abroad and in our own communities. Therefore, we believe that:
bulletIt is essential to maintain a strong, well-trained and adequately-paid military; to deploy American troops abroad only under American command, to further American interests or to aid a faithful ally; to promptly develop and build systems to protect our population against missile attack; and to fulfill America’s obligations to its veterans.


bulletThe best way to reduce crime is to get tough with repeat and violent offenders. Minnesota is too lenient; we impose notoriously short sentences and have the lowest incarceration rate in the United States.


bulletHarassing law-abiding citizens will not stop crime. There are plenty of federal and state gun laws; we should enforce the laws we already have rather than pretending that passing even more laws will be effective in the absence of aggressive law enforcement.

The first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, wrote that freedom is “the last, best hope of earth.” Republicans have never lost our faith in freedom. We believe that:
bulletTaxes and government spending should be reduced so that Americans have more freedom to spend their hard-earned money in ways that benefit themselves, their families and their communities.


bulletWherever possible, governmental functions should be carried out by state and local governments, which are not as remote, inaccessible or inefficient as the federal government.


bulletSmall businesses should be allowed to grow and prosper without being choked by government regulations and red tape.


bulletThe current tax code should be replaced by a simpler, fairer system like a flat tax or national sales tax. Neither the federal government nor the State of Minnesota should tax sickness, death or inheritance.

Republicans recognize that the family is the most important unit of our society and the source of most human progress. We believe that:
bulletOur government should not undermine the family by taxing married couples at higher rates than single individuals, by forcing employers to provide benefits to persons other than spouses and children, or by subsidizing and promoting illegitimacy.


bulletMinnesota should reform its welfare system, which encourages dependency, family disintegration and illegitimacy by treating welfare as an entitlement. Minnesota should adopt a system like Wisconsin’s, which requires all able-bodied people to work as a condition of receiving welfare.


bulletAbortion on demand, forced taxpayer funding of abortions, and partial birth abortions are wrong and should not be forced on the people of Minnesota by their government.


Taxes, Spending and Regulation


Republicans believe that limited government is the best government, and that free enterprise is the best path to prosperity for all Minnesotans. We support reducing taxes, spending and regulation to create business opportunities for our hard-working families and businesses. Therefore, we support:

bulletCutting federal and state taxes, reducing spending, sunsetting regulations and limiting future tax increases by requiring a supermajority vote in Congress or the Minnesota Legislature to enact such increases.


bulletTaxing Minnesotans at a level sufficient to fund the legitimate needs of state government without creating surpluses, and returning any surpluses that may incur to the taxpayers in proportion to the taxes they paid.


bulletReforming and simplifying our complex property tax system.


bulletAbolishing the current IRS tax code and replacing it with a simpler, fairer tax system that favors a national sales tax or a flat tax.


bulletAbolishing or substantially reducing federal and state capital gains taxes, as well as all taxes on marriage, sickness, death or inheritance.


bulletAdopting a constitutional amendment that requires a balanced federal budget.


bulletAllowing younger workers to save for the future and build their net worth by investing a portion of their Social Security payments, while fulfilling our obligations to older Americans, and prohibiting Congress from using Social Security funds for any other purpose, and supporting Senator Rod Grams’ “Personal Security and Wealth in Retirement” plan.


bulletRequiring that before any new government project or program is initiated, that its purpose, cost and anticipated life be set forth and that performance measurements and dismantling plans be established when the project or program does not meet expectations.


bulletDedicating all taxes, fees and licenses from their revenue streams to their appropriate program funding.


bulletMaintaining the principle that sports, entertainment and the arts should be funded by users and voluntary donors, not by tax dollars, and opposing corporate welfare.


bulletKeep internet sales free of taxation.


bulletAdequately fund highway and bridge construction in Minnesota, while eliminating all funding for light rail transit, the costs of which outweigh any possible benefit.




Republicans believe that crime in Minnesota can best be reduced by getting tough with violent and repeat criminals. Therefore, we support:

bulletEstablishing mandatory minimum prison sentences, substantially higher for repeat offenders, and ending probation for violent criminals and sex offenders.


bulletBuilding whatever new prisons are necessary to protect the public by incarcerating violent criminals. Prisons are for the protection of the public and the punishment of criminals and should not be designed for recreation.


bulletRe-instituting capital punishment for the most heinous crimes.


bulletChanging state law so any juvenile who is arrested for a violent crime is tried as an adult.


bulletRequiring criminals to provide restitution to victims and the state for crimes committed.


bulletEnforcing existing firearms laws, particularly those relating to violent offenders, rather than creating new and unnecessary laws restricting the use of firearms, and recognizing a responsible, competent citizen’s right to self-defense through gun ownership and a “must issue” carry permit system.




Republicans believe that parents, teachers and local school boards can best make decisions about our children’s education. Therefore, we support:

bulletRe-emphasizing a knowledge-based curriculum which includes reading, writing, mathematics and civics, to prepare our children to compete in the technology-driven economy of the 21st century. We support teaching the traditional Minnesota values of hard work, honesty, home and family, and respect for our American heritage and the Constitution.


bulletMaking Minnesota’s education system more effective and efficient by reducing the federal and state bureaucracies’ control, as exemplified by such misguided programs as the Profile of Learning, School to Work and Goals 2000, which should be abandoned, and returning authority to parents, teachers and local school boards as the primary educators of our children.


bulletRe-establishing the Minnesota Department of Education and re-orienting it to the focused role of providing information and support to local school districts.


bulletSupporting a statewide testing system that emphasizes basic skills in a core curriculum.


bulletImproving the quality of education by maximizing parental choice through expanded support for charter schools, school choice programs, parental rights to home school their children and more competitive and accountable public school systems, and by preserving and expanding tax credits, deductions, and school voucher programs.


bulletReforming tenure, limiting public school teachers’ right to strike and restoring balance to the Public Employment Labor Relations Act. We would institute pay for performance and periodic competency testing for public school teachers in both the core curriculum and the subjects they teach.


bulletRequiring the inclusion of abstinence until marriage in public school sex education courses and prohibiting the dispensing of birth control drugs and devices in schools. We oppose dispensing any prescription drugs in schools without written consent of the parents.


bulletRequiring the presence of the United States flag in all classrooms, the daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, and encouraging the voluntary expression of religious beliefs and traditions by students.


bulletDevoting the same emphasis to educating Minnesota’s gifted and talented children that is now devoted to special education.


Family Security and Defense of Life


The Republican Party recognizes the sanctity of human life and the central role of the family in our society. Therefore, we believe that:

bulletWe must adopt policies reflecting the principle that every human being, born and unborn, has an inalienable right to life from conception to natural death.


bulletPartial birth abortions, forced taxpayer funding of abortions, abortions performed on minors without parental consent are wrong and should not be forced on the people of Minnesota by their government.


bulletWe should submit to a vote of the people a constitutional amendment to overturn the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision that forces taxpayers to pay for elective abortions.


bulletA “Woman’s Right to Know” law must be adopted, ensuring that women considering abortion receive information on the health, safety, emotional and physical repercussions of abortion, along with information on the alternatives to abortion.


bulletResearch and experimentation on fetal tissue or body parts obtained through abortion must be banned, including the sale of such tissue or body parts for any purpose.


bulletOur legislators should consider the effects that laws relating to taxation, divorce, welfare and other matters have on the family. Minnesota’s law governing marriage should be amended to offer a “Covenant Marriage” option, entailing extensive pre-marital counseling and limits on divorce. Parental privileges of fathers in child custody issues should be restored to comply with the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.


bulletMinnesota should prohibit any medical procedure or therapy that would deliberately cause or hasten death, including physician-assisted suicide and deprivation of food and water.


bulletRacial preferences in adoption is wrong, and Minnesota should make it easier and less costly for married couples to adopt a child of any race.


bulletMinnesota should not recognize same sex marriages or the establishment of homosexuals as a protected class.


bulletWe should eliminate all advertising promoting state-sponsored gambling by radio, television or free promotional items, and other electronic media.


bulletLaws and regulations restricting the production, sale and promotion of obscene material, especially to children, should be strengthened, and pornography-blocking software should be installed on all computers having internet access in publicly financed institutions.


bulletAdopting changes that encourage families to stay together, including changes in marriage, divorce, child support, welfare and tax laws.


bulletMaking it easier and less costly for heterosexual parents to adopt children of any race.


Property Rights, Environment and Agriculture


The Republican Party believes that proper stewardship of our natural resources and agricultural lands will best be achieved through sound science and adherence to Constitutionally-guaranteed property rights. Therefore, we support:

bulletMaintaining clean air, water and land through reliance on peer-reviewed scientific research that establishes proven threats and workable remedies, and opposing such actions as the Kyoto Global warming Treaty.


bulletImposing the costs of environmental clean-up on those who cause pollution.


bulletCompensating owners for property devaluation when government regulations or other governmental actions cause a decline in property values, and support reducing or restricting government ownership of our land to no more than 40%.


bulletFollowing commonsense practices in forest, wetlands and wildlife management and promoting multiple uses of natural resources in most circumstances.


bulletUpholding the Freedom to Farm and free enterprise in the agricultural economy, while reforming the antiquated structure of government programs, such as the Dairy Compact, that hurt Minnesota Farmers.


bulletEncouraging technological advances in the creation, processing and use of agricultural products and natural resources.


bulletAdhering to the original intent of the 1978 BWCAW law and Public Law 91-661 in managing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park and opposing all attempts by the judiciary or federal government to usurp constitutionally protected states rights.


bulletUrging the passage of the American Land Sovereignty Act which would require that all treaties be ratified by Congress before they could be enacted, even by executive order.


bulletOpposing legislation that places a state-wide moratorium on feed lots and logging roads -- townships and counties should decide these matters.


bulletWe support returning timber wolf management back to the state.


bulletOpposing Minnesota Planning’s use of the 1992 United Nations Rio De Janeiro Bio Diversity Treaty from being used as the basis for any planning in Minnesota. We support repealing the Minnesota Community Based Planning Act, since local government should decide these matters.


bulletOpposing federal ‘heritage area’ acts that would generically provide funding and other opportunities for bureaucracies and other non-governmental organizations to use tax dollars to lobby and prepare for regulation of our land and resources.


bulletOpposing the Minnesota DNR’s ecosystem management approach to natural resource management, while supporting a return to traditional silverculture and wildlife management techniques.



Government Reform and Ethics


Republicans want government to be honest, efficient and responsive to individual citizens. Therefore, we advocate:

bulletReturning governmental functions from the federal level to state and local governments wherever possible, consistent with the intent of the Constitution. We believe that most government functions are carried out more efficiently and with greater accountability at the state and local level.


bulletReinstating a citizen legislature in Minnesota by holding legislative sessions in alternate years unless a special session is called by the Governor.


bulletAdopting codes of conduct for all Minnesota elected officials that require resignation upon conviction of a felony or any crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude.


bulletEnding Congress’ practice of coercing state and local governments by withholding funds if states do not enact specified legislation, in all areas where the Constitution does not give the federal government jurisdiction.


bulletReturning the Metropolitan Council to its original purposes of regional planning and support, while eliminating, privatizing, or returning to state and local governments all other Metropolitan Council functions.


bulletAdopting an amendment to the U. S. Constitution prohibiting the desecration of the United States flag.


bulletReforming campaign finance laws so as to uphold all Americans’ rights to free speech by allowing American citizens to donate their time or money to political campaigns without limitation; requiring immediate and full disclosure of all sources of campaign funding.


bulletMaintaining Minnesota’s two-house legislature, rather than adopting a unicameral system.


bulletAllowing judicial candidates to take positions on issues relevant to their judicial responsibilities and to seek party endorsement.


bulletFair redistricting without gerrymandering and with Senate districts that do not cross Congressional district boundaries.


bulletReinstating the constitutional separation of powers by eliminating recognition of legislation by executive order, judicial rulings, or un-elected regulatory agencies.


bulletSubmitting to the people constitutional amendments for an effective recall procedure for term limits for all elected officials.


bulletAdopting an initiative and referendum law that would allow the citizens of Minnesota to vote on important issues.


bulletMaking English the official language in Minnesota.


Health Care and Welfare Reform


Republicans believe that government control over the choices families make about their health care should be minimized, and that competition is the best way to improve the quality, and to contain the cost, of health care. Republicans believe that welfare is a privilege, not an entitlement, and that able-bodied welfare recipients should be required to work. Therefore, we support:

bulletPrograms that reduce health care costs by introducing genuine market competition into the system. We oppose all proposals for socialized (i.e., “single payer”) medicine, and support the repeal of MinnesotaCare, and opposing programs that ration health care.


bulletGiving individuals more health care choices by permitting medical savings accounts and giving people the option of using their own money for the type of plan they choose.


bulletProviding assistance to people in need primarily through private charity, including faith-based programs, rather than government welfare programs. Such programs should be encouraged through tax credits at the federal and state levels with the objective of replacing as much government-sponsored welfare with private initiatives as possible.


bulletAdopting real welfare reform in Minnesota, by requiring all able-bodied welfare recipients to work as a condition of receiving benefits, and by stopping the practice of offering cash incentives for unmarried welfare recipients to bear children.


Legal Reform


Republicans believe that our legal system has been subject to abuse in the form of frivolous lawsuits; excessive numbers of lawsuits; and lawsuits that are intended to advance a political agenda, rather than adjudicate real controversies. Therefore, we support:

bulletAppointing judges who will exercise their authority to review, and when necessary limit, excessive awards of damages and attorneys’ fees.


bulletLimiting attorneys’ fees in class action lawsuits and other cases where plaintiffs receive insignificant damages, so that fees are not disproportionate to any recovery obtained in the litigation.


bulletEnacting legislation limiting any party’s liability in a civil case to its fair share of the damages, as determined by the percentage of fault assessed by the jury.


bulletEmpowering juries to determine that a suit was without merit, and in such a case requiring the plaintiff and his attorney to pay the defendant’s attorneys’ fees and court costs.


bulletLimiting prisoners’ ability to file frivolous lawsuits.



Civil Rights


The Republican Party, the Party that abolished slavery, believes that the government should treat all of its citizens equally. Therefore, we advocate:

bulletEncouraging respect for our American heritage and our status as American cit izens rather than as members of any group; prohibiting any forms of discrimination by government including preferences or quotas for employment, student admissions and faculty hiring, set-asides in the awarding of government contracts; repealing all statutes which require unequal treatment or special preferences for such groups; and prohibiting the collection or storage of data on any person by any government agency for the purpose of identifying and discriminating among such groups.


bulletProtecting the right to religious expression in any public setting in which the freedom of speech is protected.


bulletProtecting personal privacy by prohibiting the use of social security numbers for any purpose other than social security identification and prohibiting the collection or release of any personal financial, medical, or other private information by anyone without the express consent of the person involved.


bulletSupporting the right of employees to organize, to join a union or other association, and to not have dues used to support political candidates; and requiring unions to receive written permission from their members before collecting funds for political purposes.


bulletLegislation protecting the First Amendment right of private organizations to set their own standards for membership.


bulletAmending the Minnesota Constitution to guarantee a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms.


bulletReaffirming our support of and commitment to our active duty military members and veterans, including exempting active duty military personnel from paying state income tax, and supporting the naming of Interstate 94 as Veterans Memorial Highway.


bulletReaffirming our commitment to free market economics, including free and fair international trade. Free trade enhances productivity and expands American markets and influence. People who are actively involved in free markets create wealth, experience freedom and shape cultures and governments.


bulletCondemning religious, political and ethnic persecution in any country, specifically the oppression, slave labor, torture and murder of Christians and other religious believers.


bulletSupport legal immigration, while at the same time strengthening our borders and reducing the flow of illegal immigrants.


Foreign Affairs and National Defense


Republicans believe that peace is best maintained through a strong national defense. Therefore, we support:

bulletRebuilding America’s military forces, which have declined drastically in recent years, to ensure that they are well-prepared, well-armed, and adequate to protect our national security.


bulletDeveloping and deploying defense systems to protect America from the ever-present dangers of nuclear, biological and chemical warfare, including Strategic Missile Defense.


bulletDeploying American forces overseas only to further American interests or defend a faithful ally, and only under the command of American officers.


bulletEnsuring that the United States does not surrender its sovereignty to the United Nations or any other international organization. Thisincludes prohibiting the use of U. S. troops for purposes other than for protecting America’s national security.