Session ends; many legislators disappointed in final bills

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach

In your face, Governor. The Strib story by Patrick Coolican says, “The Minnesota Senate on Monday gave final approval to a $17 billion education budget bill containing $400 million in new spending, sending the measure to Gov. Mark Dayton who has promised a veto because there’s no funding for his goal of universal preschool. State senators voted 52-14, and many said the budget bill was the result of compromise between DFL and Republican priorities. The Minnesota House approved the measure overnight 71-59.”

Says Tom Scheck at MPR, “Besides Dayton’s threat of a veto, many legislators are disappointed in the final bills agreed on by the two parties. Despite a major push all year to fund a multi-year transportation plan, for example, the House and Senate opted to pass a bill that maintains the status quo instead of funding needed improvements. Democrats and Republicans disagreed over whether to raise the tax on gasoline or use existing sales taxes and borrowing to pay for road and bridge construction. Among the lawmakers who said they wished they could have done more was state Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis. He wanted a tax increase to finance transportation needs.”

And while you’ve got your pen out, Guv: Elizabeth Dunbar of MPR says, “Environmentalists want Dayton to reject a spending bill for agriculture and the environment — even though it includes language on buffers to protect the state’s waterways. Buffers have been one of Dayton’s top priorities this session. The list of objections from environmental groups is long, and it includes complaints about both policy and spending — including a provision that uses money raised by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment to pay for environmental measures. One of the biggest objections is to a provision that would eliminate the citizens’ board that oversees some decisions at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.”

“Harebrained?” All he has to do is come up with a billion dollars to subsidize … a billionaire and he’s in the conversation. Lisa Kaczke of the Forum News Service tells us, “Proctor City Councilor Travis White wants to start the discussion on bringing a professional football team to the Northland. White’s heard from the critics that it sounds like a harebrained, pie-in-the-sky idea. But he said he’s become a believer after researching the idea of whether the Northland could support an NFL team.”

Who said harebrained? The Strib’s Mike Kaszuba reports, “Negotiators in Minneapolis may be making progress on a menu of mostly local tax breaks for a Major League Soccer stadium, even though the proposal appeared dead Monday in the closing hours of the legislative session. Minneapolis City Council Member Jacob Frey said city officials and representatives for Bill McGuire, the former UnitedHealth Group chief executive who wants to bring an MLS franchise to Minnesota, have outlined a package that would include a property tax break for the team.”

In a Strib commentary, Jack Uldrich resurrects the argument for some kind of giant iconic structure to give us major league status. “If you’re a person wanting to immigrate to America, what physical image springs to mind? If you are a tourist traveling to Paris, what icon is a ‘must visit’? When the city of St. Louis is portrayed in the media, what edifice is most frequently shown? Now, when you think of Minnesota, what structure comes to mind? For the first three questions, the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower and the Gateway Arch likely top the list. For Minnesota? Perhaps, the Walker’s Spoonbridge and Cherry, the Split Rock Lighthouse, the St. Paul Cathedral, the State Capitol or, maybe, the Mall of America. My point is that there is no one definitive image.” How about a 1000-foot spire with an enormous crystal football on the top that blinks out the words, “NFL Approved”?

Braggin’ rights … in 140 characters. Says Jennifer Brooks of the Strib, “Mosquitoes create the worst sort of Twitter buzz. Ask anyone in Bemidji. The northern Minnesota city ranks nationally when it comes to complaining about mosquitoes on Twitter. This according to the extermination corporation Terminix, which combed through 200 billion tweets to locate the source of that high-pitched whine on your Twitter feed every summer.” I wonder where “Tea Party” ranked?

Mark my word. It’ll be $50 for carry on baggage by next year. Tom Webb at the PiPress says, “A plan to raise airport wages to at least $10 an hour won approval Monday from the Metropolitan Airports Commission, but not before drawing fire from all quarters. Labor activists scorned the increase as too little, too late. They want a $15-an-hour minimum wage for workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, not $1 above the state’s $9-an-hour minimum wage, which commissioners approved after three hours of debate.” This kind of burden must not negatively impact shareholders!

Finally, the PowerLine lawyers, or at least Paul Mirengoff, took time away from Sean Hannity’s logic seminar to watch the last episode of “Mad Men.” “Mad Men is an overrated show, but that’s mainly because no television show could be as good as gushing liberals deem it. Why do liberals love Mad Men so? I think it’s because it tells them that America in the early 1960s was not only a hell hole for blacks, gays, and women, but that the wholesome family image of the time was a mirage. Liberals can thus feel less guilty about the near collapse of the family, and of wholesomeness, that the left-wing culture helped bring about. Ironically, though, the upscale liberals who love Mad Men tended to opt, in the end, for the nuclear, intact family. Broken homes and single moms are for the lower classes. Thus, Mad Men provides many liberals with an additional reason to pat themselves on the back for being superior to their parents.” Pal, if you ever deconstruct the end of “Lost,” kick it over here. I gotta read that.

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Chris Mann on 05/19/2015 - 09:12 am.


    I prefer our 10,000 + lakes (Minnesota’s natural “iconic structures”) to something like the Gateway Arch. The state’s fame is in its natural resources; people all over already know about them.

    Really, have you been to the Gateway Arch and ridden in it? Is that the sort of thing you would want representing Minnesota?

  2. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 05/19/2015 - 09:29 am.

    The NFL

    If we are going to add another NFL team to Minnesota, the obvious place for it is Minneapolis. I mean we are already building a stadium that will stand empty for half the NFL season. Why not fill those 8 empty dates with another NFL team? We would be doubling the value of our investment in the stadium.

    • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 05/19/2015 - 11:26 am.


      I’m sure the other team would really want the many reminders of the Vikings everywhere in the stadium. Not going to happen without major changes to the stadium which won’t happen either.

      • Submitted by Hiram Foster on 05/19/2015 - 01:02 pm.


        This isn’t a big problem. The Giants and Jets play in the same stadium quite amicably. The stadium is dressed for each team each game day accordingly. It would be a complicated deal of course, but I think it could be arranged that the Vikings would benefit from the presence of the second team.

        I suppose I could not unfairly, be accused of being disingenuous here. Minnesota isn’t going to get a second NFL franchise. But in a world where a town as small as Green Bay can support one very successful franchise, it’s quite possible that the Twin Cities could support two. And there does remain the question of what to do with Vikings Stadium on those 357 days each year when the Vikings aren’t playing there. I don’t think we will be able to get the Rolling Stones to play all of those dates.

        • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 05/19/2015 - 02:18 pm.


          Major changes would need to be made to the stadium that is currently being constructed. Those changes are not likely to be made after it has been constructed so even less likely a second NFL team would ever want to play there.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 05/19/2015 - 12:53 pm.

      Outstanding, Hiram !!

      Yes, I don’t think we have enough stadia, and the public should be ashamed for handing out only a couple billion to the franchise owners.

      What cheapskates !! They don’t seem to realize that we have tens of thousands of “jobs, jobs, jobs” as our reward – limited only by our rhetoric and small thinking.

      Keep it up !! Your political career may catapult you into a seat in the MN Legislature !! Or at least the City Council.

      (Some here may miss Hiram’s tongue in cheek here. We are not really being serious, folks.)

  3. Submitted by T J Simplot on 05/19/2015 - 09:57 am.


    Admittedly I am not a Dayton fan, but I can say with 100% certainty that no matter who is Governor (Rep or Dem) I would be very disappointed if he vetoes the final bill. I like the fact that neither party is totally happy but they reached a compromise.

    • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 05/19/2015 - 02:20 pm.


      That’s generally how it’s supposed to work. We should be proud of most of the people we elected since they were able to put differences aside to come to an agreement but our Governor is not able to. Big surprise.

  4. Submitted by Mike Worcester on 05/19/2015 - 10:07 am.

    Many disappointed?

    Well if those legislators felt they did such a lousy job being legislators, perhaps they could choose not to run for re-election in 2016 and allow for other folks to take a try at doing the job?

  5. Submitted by Doug Gray on 05/19/2015 - 12:16 pm.

    edifice complex

    Since we already have one Claes Oldenburg, perhaps we might persuade him to also erect here his conception of a companion structure to the Washington Monument: a monumental, open pair of scissors…

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