An influential independent at the Minnesota Legislature, Senator Tom Bakk from Cook, is joining Republicans to push for eliminating state income tax on Social Security benefits regardless of income.  Bakk contends with a 7.7-billion-dollar budget surplus, there’s plenty of money to do it:

“These middle-income taxpayers that are making this decision to leave, they have a lot to contribute to our state.  And if they’re gonna leave, let’s not make it over taxes — let’s make it over the weather.”

Democrats say low-income and many middle-income Minnesotans already pay no state income tax on Social Security benefits, and what Bakk and Republicans propose would mainly benefit the wealthy.