What would you like to see from the Legislature this session?

This is Opening Day for the Minnesota Legislature. Today’s Question: What would you like to see from the Legislature this session?

  • Clark

    I would expect the DFL, who have not had total control for 22 years to tax, spend and then tax some more. As democrats, they are like drug addicts, who can’t control their urge to confiscate income. They claim there will be balance, but as democrats, they have never understood the law of unintended consequences.

  • Rich

    We are back to where we were two years ago. No surprise. The last budget was done with gimmicks and tricks.

    We cannot continue to repeat the mistakes and tricks of the lack decade
    and continue to push the problem down the line. Yes tax increases may
    be needed to address the problems here but that is probably not enough.
    New revenue sources are needed but cuts may also be needed.

    The issue now is how honest does the DFL want to be in confronting the
    reality of the budget. Will it use real numbers, eschew gimmicks, and
    base projections on realistic assumptions? This is the challenge for
    the Governor and the legislature.

  • GregX

    1) sales tax rate lowered to 3% – but expanded to services and cloths
    2) reduce number counties and school districts in Mpls-StPaul Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area to 5. the urban core = #1 and then 4 quadrant.
    3) return the mandatory annual safety and pollution check for all vehicles ( seat belts, air bags, brakes, head lights (including orientation) , tail lights, brake lights, tire tread, structural ( frame and rust ) etc.) to receive insurability and plate renewal certificates.
    4) severly clip the function of school boards. they impede school performance more than any factor.

    • Steve the Cynic

      I agree with all that, except that the rate would probably have to be around 5%, and I’d like to see 5 school districts for the whole state, or maybe just 1. School districts are an unnecessary level of bureaucracy, and with statewide open enrollment, we have lots of families who vote in one district while their kids go to school in another, which makes no sense.

      • GregX

        I can see that. Attorney Jim Grathwol hass introduced the idea of the all-metro school district in the public realm recently. don’t know of the traction level… but … it seems that would provide the funding needed for initiatives like online school books and web-sites, and e-learning for sick kids … stuff that even if only 60-75% of kids used would still drop the text book costs and improve portability and help decrease the idiotically high shelpping of paperwork back and forth between home and school .. and teachers could see typed homework – in electronic format and check it faster.

  • georges

    First, I would like to see Phyllis Kahn re-introduce her bill giving the vote to 12 year olds. Except this time she should make it for everyone, perhaps even in-utero. Then she can authorize the spending of a few hundred million dollars to organize the community by sending out Democrat party hacks to convince the little new voters to vote for the Democrats, as they will hand out more candy and video games.

    Then, John Marty can introduce a bill that confiscates all firearms, trade them to Mexico for a few green bales, creating free weed for all the people of Minnesota.
    There ya go. Who said the DFL doesn’t know how to improve the State of Minnesota?

    • Georges: Please, answer the actual question. Not sarcastically, but truthfully. What would you like to see?

  • Sue de Nim

    In a word, sanity. Bring back the State that Works from the 1970s.

  • Jim G

    I would like to see the DFL controlled Minnesota Legislature do the work of the people with integrity and resolve. The first order of business is to balance the budget in a responsible manner; keeping in mind our most vulnerable citizens who have limited choices and resources. This Legislature needs to avoid the partisan mistakes of the past Republican leadership. We, the citizens of this state, fired them for their arrogance. Don’t repeat their sin of wallowing in partisan pandering to the base; believing
    everything you say is wisdom passed down from the Highest Authority. This Legislature needs to show us what real reform looks like; reform built on the foundations of reasonable leadership willing to compromise for the good of the people. Be smart, be real people, be as transparent as you can stand. Do us proud and you will be rewarded with another challenging session.

  • david

    Stop the “charge and spend” mentality. And when that gets to be unpopular don’t call j d wentworth because you need cash now! Both sides do have a spending problem, and saying otherwise is a distraction to get stupid people to vote for your side. If you are going to spend the money raise the revenue up front. If it hits people in the wallets today, you won’t be able to get away with the smoke and mirrors to keep your job tomorrow. Then maybe we can have a useful discussion on what the real issues are, where real cuts can be made, and the honest effects on raise anyone’s taxes.

  • Ann M

    They could talk to employers and find out what they can do to keep jobs from leaving the state. An employer in my city is leaving .Develop ideas to help employers create jobs. When people have jobs, there is tax revenue!!

    • GregX

      anecdotes are not data. the same loss of “individual” companies is happening all over the USA – including in states with anti-union legislation.

      Companies are relocating solely for tax issues are not working from a coherent business plan.

      MN is showing growth in jobs … and with a fair distribution across job and skill types – but not across sectors.

      • Ann M

        Please tell me where I can find more information.. I have seen plenty of people lose good paying jobs and not be able to find comparable positions–especially those of us outside of the Twin Cities.But I have also seen it happen to friends in the Twin Cities. Most of the people are not suited for the healthcare professions. The Work Force office doesn’t seem to have the information that you have.

  • Ann M

    I want to clarify my comment. The jobs that I have seen leave the state are the good paying jobs with benefits. They aren’t public jobs that are funded by the taxpayer.Also, not everyone is suited for healcare. The job situation needs some scrutiny.

    • GregX

      Please tell me you personally check the entire state every day for changes.

  • Mark

    Resurrect the Property tax refunds allocations because their elimination enacted a 10% rise on taxes for the poor and middle class folks.

  • Gary F

    That the DFL doesn’t further us down the road to be another California or Illinois.

    But they can’t help themselves. California, here we come.

    • GregX

      hardly… California’s biggest problems is their “amendment-propostion” based legislation – something the GOP wants to do here.

      • Gary F

        Transportation amendment, Legacy amendment. Monkey see, monkey do.

  • georges

    What I would like to see is the Legislature do is take the logical step to protect our children by outfitting our schools with ARMED guards at the entrance and double locked security doors.

    What I mean by double locked security door is what some jewelry stores, and other highly vulnerable private businesses, have gone to in recent years.

    It consists of 2 doors, 10 or more feet apart, with the space between being the locked security area. Both doors are always locked, and can only be opened electronically by the ARMED guard sitting at a desk 20 feet from the inside door. When someone approaches from the outside and presses the buzzer asking to be admitted, the ARMED guard visually inspects the applicant for admittance. If he approves, he hits the unlock button and the applicant enters the security space, moving to the locked interior door, being scanned for weapons as he walks. The guard views the person and his Ipad screen, and other electronic detectors, and if the armed guard finds all is satisfactory, he hits the buzzer to unlock the interior door and the applicant enters. If all is not OK, the armed guard has the person locked in the security space between the two locked sets of doors. All is tempered safety glass, thicker than normal, like bullet proof glass. These types of doors have worked well for private businesses, keeping the suspect nicely locked in until police arrive. For the school shooter types, they will know ahead of time and will not try to enter, as they know the doors will prevent them from accomplishing their plan. Since carrying out their laborous plan is the only thing that is important to them, they will not try at a school with double locked security doors.

    Did I mention that the armed guard has an AR-15 on his desk, craddled in a rifle rest, and trained on the applicant at all times?

    It is time for the Legislature to get serious about protecting our children, and immediately start the process that will actually do the job that needs to be done.

    • Steve the Cynic

      Are you willing to have your taxes raised to pay for that?

      • georges

        It has been estimated that to put an armed guard in every public school in the U.S.A. would cost 8 billion dollars, or approx the amount the FedGov spends in 15 hours. This is a bargain, considering how the FedGov wastes our money. Here, at least, we would be getting something of value for the bucks spent. I will go 2 days worth, 22 billion, in order to cover the double locked door systems installed

    • kevins

      Wouldn’t the bad guys simply start after day care centers, old folk’s homes, hockey practices and on and on. That’s gettin’ to be a lot of double doors! Or maybe the thought is just absurd. I hope the legislature can balance revenue and spending, with a view toward long term outcomes, rather than two or four year cycles. Infrastructure spending always makes sense to me, possibly excluding the double locked doors.

    • David P.

      Now yer’ talking! Think of the jobs (non-union of course) that would be created by building all those double door entry cages! Why stop at schools? The legislature should make it part of the commercial building code (like accessibility codes). We’d finally find safety when we visit any coffee shop, nursing home, bowling alley, store, church, library, office building, restaurant, concert hall, movie house, stadium … (maybe we could “grandfather” in antique stores?). But why stop there? What about school buses? City buses? Light rail? Then of course we need to hire, train and arm guards, lots and lots of guards. Guards = jobs! Yes sir! georges, you’ve hit this one out of the park! Jobs and safety! A two’fer! One more question – could we equip the cages to spray stinky tear gas and play classical music, too?

      • georges

        Of course tear gas would be available to fill the security area at the push of a button by the ARMED guard. And pepper spray, also. And tasers, fired remotely from the armed guard’s desk. And cargo rope net, fired from a button on the desk, to wrap around and neutralize the assailant in the security area, just like you would capture a lion on the open grassland plains of Kenya. Also bean bag firing guns, and a few other modern conveniences that would teach him what his parents and the public schools failed to teach him all these years. You know, catch him up quick on what lessons he needs to get along in this world.
        Welcome aboard. Always room for one more who has seen the light of day. Tis good for the soul.

        • Steve the Cynic

          Keep your day job, georges. You’ll never make it as a professional satirist.

  • Mike

    I would like the legeslature to hear the bill to help protect hunting dogs and pets from body grip traps. At least 12 (that were reported) dogs were killed by traps in the fall of 2012. The changes recommended in the bill could help.

  • Carrie

    I would like to see the Legislature use a balanced approach. Let’s pay for the quality of life that we Minnesotans have enjoyed so much over the decades. No more shell games and borrowing from our schools.

  • Jeff

    I would like to see tax reform, a fix with the budget which includes some cuts (once they realize the rich can’t have their taxes raised high enough to pay for the borrowing). Also, make gay marriage legal so we can put that issue to bed and please by all means create some sort of electronic poll book system that we heard about from Democrats all last year.

  • scott

    I would like our state to return to the way we used to be. This state allowed for the 3M,Honeywell, G.Mills, Anderson Windows, Marvin Widows, Ford Plant, Burlington Northern, All of the Iron Range, Atomic, wind, hydro, & coal energy, Potlach, Bosie, Sappi paper/lumber co’s all be up and running & investing.
    My fear with the the total Dem. control is that we will continue regulating permit feeing industrial opportunities to death for the sake of more recreational opportunities and count on gambling/pulltabs to fill the holes.

  • Ken Kalish

    Eric:

    One thing I would like to see is a reversal of the trend toward shifting state aid costs to homeowners. As it now stands our school districts are owed a lot of money and state highway funds (CSAH funding, for instance) are shorted. To keep operating, units of government have moved to real estate taxes as an increasingly large segment of funding. Those of us out here in greater Minnesota don’t have the luxury of Fortune 500 employers chipping in, and many of us are either on fixed incomes or “between jobs” (read chronically unemployed).

    There was discussion last year, albeit at a very low level, to eliminate Township governmental units and transfer that responsibility to counties. It would be interesting to see what impact such a change would have in rural Minnesota, both in cost effectiveness and citizen access. It seems that the larger and more distant from the citizens government becomes, the less access citizens have.

  • David P.

    A legislative body that puts the needs of the state ahead of the wants of their contributors or the prospects of the next election. A legislative body that works as a team, focused on a manageable set of achievable goals. A revenue policy that is progressive and fair. A spending policy that is compassionate and needs/impact/ROI based. A budget policy that faces the facts of past miss-management and is up to the “tough-love” and truth telling required to put Minnesota back on track. An environmental policy that promotes a healthier place to live and boosts the economy. A legislature that takes steps to ensure the civil rights of all are protected.