Minnesotans can be proud of what the legislature accomplished in the 2013 and 2014 legislatives sessions. From raising the minimum wage (indexed for inflation) to marriage equality, we accomplished more than in any other two years in my memory. And we adjourned early!
We made real progress for working Minnesotans and middle class families: we paid back the money borrowed from our schools; we invested more in education including free all-day kindergarten for every child; we froze tuition at all public Minnesota colleges and universities; we leveled the playing field for women in the workplace; we provided real property tax relief for middle-class Minnesotans; and we produced an honest budget that got rid of gimmicks. Check out “The Issues” for more of our accomplishments.
The Minnesota House is now controlled by a Republican majority which has stated its intention to focus on rural Minnesota. Newly elected Speaker Daudt has changed the committee structure to reflect this new emphasis. Governor Dayton stressed education in his recent inaugural address; Speaker Daudt is downplaying education.
While this session is getting off to a quiet start, it is easy to see the coming bumps in the road and imagine the noise they will create. That is especially true when you considered the latest numbers from the nonpartisan the Minnesota House Research Department: the seven county metro pays 64% of the state’s taxes and gets back 53% of the major tax aids, credits and refunds. In comparison, the 80 non-metro counties pay 36% and get back 47%.
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