For more information contact: DJ Danielson 651-296-8879
This past Friday I had the opportunity to participate in a ribbon cutting of a playground at Community of Peace Academy on the East Side. This playground was put together in a matter of hours by volunteers and lead by KaBOOM!, an organization that works to bring places to play to communities all over the nation. This particular project was funded by a grant in coordination with Target.
Especially in urban areas, it’s crucial that we provide spaces for children to get away from their X-Boxes and iPads, get outside, and get active. Kids need quality, active time outside for brain development and cognitive capacity, and it is instrumental in building social skills and creativity. I’m honored to have been invited to join the group, and hope kids will be able to enjoy this playground for years to come.
Just down 35E here at the State Capitol, work continues on the state budget. I wish I had encouraging news to share, but the Republicans in the majority of the House and Senate are utilizing a strategy of “same old, same old” in putting together the state budget. Over the weekend, the legislature’s concentration of GOP power met to reconcile differences between House and Senate versions of the various finance bills. These meetings took place in secret, behind closed doors, and without public input. With the recent results we’ve seen when this approach was taken, you’d think a more accountable approach would be utilized, but alas, they are headed down the same path that makes people so frustrated with politics.
Beyond the method used to get here, the result of these bills is even more outrageous. The richest Minnesotans are again put ahead of working families just trying to find success. The GOP’s tax bill remains supersized, with massive giveaways to corporate special interests while wiping out our surplus. This squeezes out opportunity to provide meaningful investments in our schools, get a handle on college tuition, make sure Minnesotans have access to affordable and quality health care (including our seniors and most vulnerable) and fix our transportation needs in a fair, sustainable way.
I was a freshman legislator in 2003, on the heels of a series of tax cuts and other giveaways (remember the “Jesse Checks?”) which at the time had mass appeal to many. It didn’t take long though to see the predicament caused by this short-sighted budgeting. Our state fell into perpetual series of budget deficits, with shifts, gimmicks, cuts, and borrowing replied upon for years to come.
It’s no secret that all sides will need to compromise, but right now, the Republicans in charge are more interested in politics rather than putting together a responsible budget that creates opportunities for Minnesotans. With under three weeks left in the legislative session, this is an unacceptable approach. There is still some time left, and I’m hopeful they will come to the table in good faith so we can wrap up this important work on time, and with results that are helpful to our state’s future, not to its detriment.
Please keep contacting me with your thoughts on these and other important issues before us. Your input is valuable, and important to me as we move forward. Don’t hesitate to call or email me anytime.
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