The legislative races for 2012 hold special importance this year because progressives have a golden opportunity to retake the legislature with DFL majorities and have two years to make progress a reality.
Governor Dayton has said…give us two years and see what we can do. Indeed.
Top 5 reasons to give Gov. Dayton a legislature he can work with.
#5 – Tax fairness. Republicans assume that Gov. Dayton simply wants to increase taxes on the rich. Maybe that is part of it, but if the Governor and the legislature can have the opportunity to shape state tax policy, taxes on the rich may not be the absolute that we assume is necessary. The way taxes, in general, are collected should all be on the table. Including sales taxes on internet sales and taxing services in a service economy. The real Minnesota economy has never been addressed fairly as to taxation.
#4 – Health Care Exchanges. 2013 is the year that health care exchanges must be in place prior to 2014 implementation. How these exchanges interact between insurance companies and the state is vital to shaping health care policy for Minnesota. In addition, with a favorable legislature, health care in all areas could be on the table for examination.
#3 – Fairness for Unions and Public Employees. The Public Employee contract can be ratified without political hand ringing. And unions can get a fair shake at the legislative level. The Teacher’s union will cease to be just the enemy and get a chance for a fair hearing on their concerns. Unions won’t get everything they want, but they will at least have a chance at what they need.
#2 – End of Structural Budget Deficit. With the GOP, budgets have always been a patchwork quilt of avoiding revenue while using the budget cut axe to hurt the middle class and poor. I am confident that if the Governor has an agreeable legislature, budget deficits will END.
#1 – A Minnesota Miracle Two for Public Education. The IOU’s will end. Public education will get a long overdue priority. The funding will meet the need. And teachers will have the ability for proper input. I have confidence that the problems in education will be addressed fully and with everyone getting a seat at the table. A new era in Minnesota’s education can begin.
A turnover in the legislature is certainly not a given, but the chance is there and we need to grab it by the horns. Even the opportunity has been a long time coming.
Go for it.
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