This week Governor Mark Dayton laid out a positive vision to build a better Minnesota. I appreciate his forward-thinking approach to put our state on a path to long-term fiscal stability and economic prosperity.
In his third State of the State address, the Governor called the status quo of deep cuts short-sighted. Accounting gimmicks and borrowing from our future has not served Minnesota well. As the Governor said in his speech, “trying to cut our way to a better Minnesota is a failed experiment.”
I am committed to working with my colleagues and Governor Dayton to build a strong economy by investing in our children’s education. Our state historically takes pride in our education system, but over the past decade we’ve fallen behind. We must equip our young people with the tools and skills they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive internationally integrated economy.
I agree with the Governor on his assessment that we need to reduce property taxes. The consistent increase hits low and middle-income earners much harder. Middle class families have been squeezed too much in the last ten years. Wages have remained flat while the cost of living has steadily increased. Many Minnesotans are finding it harder to save for retirement and send their kids to college. As the Governor said, this is not the Minnesota we want to leave our children. We need Minnesota to be a state that invests in its people and provides quality, efficient services.
Lastly, I applaud Governor Dayton for his efforts to expand access to affordable health care. Our state is on track to create a cutting-edge health insurance exchange that will enable individuals, families, and businesses to make well-informed choices when selecting quality coverage. I believe this is an important step towards ensuring care for all Minnesotans.
This is an exciting time for our state. We have a real opportunity to put Minnesota on sound fiscal footing for years to come. I share the Governor’s vision of a state that works for everyone based on a strong foundation of affordable health care, a great education for our kids, a transportation system built to last, and living wage jobs. It’s time to roll up our sleeves and work together to create good jobs, support our students, and balance the budget in a way that is fair and responsible.
As the legislative session continues, please keep sending me your thoughts, ideas, and feedback about how we can move Minnesota forward. You can reach me by phone at (651) 296-0171, by email at email@example.com, or by postal mail at 559 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.
State Representative, District 20B