What should be the top priority for Minnesota’s governor and Legislature this session?

A new governor and a new Legislature begin work this week. Today’s Question: What should be the top priority for Minnesota’s governor and Legislature this session?

  • Public health. Sexual health checkups.

    Encourage folks BEFORE having sex to get tested TOGETHER for A VARIETY of STDs


    How widespread is the strategy?… of

    “BEFORE we have sex let’s get tested TOGETHER

    for A VARIETY of STDs.”

    Do sexual health checkups reduce the ambiguity and can they be

    like anything else POTENTIAL sex partners do together?…

    If you needed surgery would you want the surgeon to wash

    before operating?…

    If you needed a blood transfusion would you want the blood tested

    before or after the transfusion?…

    see also



    “tested together” alerts



  • Hiram

    Education should be the top priority in this legislative session.

  • Duane

    I would hope Gov Dayton would present his proposed budget as soon as possible and that the new legislature would immediately work on the budget and not leave it until the end of session and then try to cram it though like we saw with bills in the lame duck session of the 111th congress. I felt that was irresponsible leadership by the Democratic led congress. The 111th congress never passed a budget for the current year. Totally lacking of good leadership.

  • DMOX

    Dayton’s top priority should be to stay in Minnesota for the next 4 years & run the state. No week long trips to New Hampshire, Iowa, or weekend retreats at PAC conventions. Just be the governor. Run the state. Like you said you would. And if I find out that he had time to write a book, then I’m going to assume that he must’ve slacked off work to do it, because there’s plenty of work to do, deficits, education reform, unemployment, etc….

    My employer expects 100% attention to my job. I expect the same from my governor.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Play nice!

  • Peggy Korsmo-Kennon

    The first priority should be to work TOGETHER on the difficult issues facing the State. My hope would be that legislators and the governor can decide to communicate without partisan rhetoric. I hope that collaboration, and yes even compromise will be the norm.

  • Duane

    Why is it that so many people from Minnesota criticized Pawlenty for taking so many trip, seemingly to run for president, while the same group of people find fault that Gov Palin stepped down as governor also,seemingly to run for president?

  • Gary F

    Stop increasing the size and scope of government so we don’t end up like New Jersey, Illinois, or California.

    More government is not the answer.

  • Chad

    Dealing with the budget crisis in a moral, constitutional fashion (i.e., caring for the poor, funding the [constitutionally mandated] public defenders’ offices, etc.)

  • D Erickson

    As teachers we put kids first. As legislators, always put people first. If you make this your mission, you’ll be successful.

  • Brian

    Dayton’s top priority should be public education at all levels. The way we ensure the future prosperity of our state and opportunity for our young is to properly fund public education at all levels.

    He will need to resist the Republican party, which will want to cut funding and come up with sweetheart deals for the mega-rich and corporate Minnesota. The Republicans will argue that the wealthy need more wealth in order to create jobs–in spite of the fact that not since the late 1920s, just prior to the crash of ’29 and the Great Depression, has there been such disparity between the rich and the rest of us as now. The wealthy appear to have all the wealth they need.

    Hang in there, Mark! Millions of Minnesotans need you to fight for them.

  • steve

    get the economy going and work together!

  • Steve the Cynic

    Stop decreasing the size and scope of government so we don’t end up like Alabama, Mississippi, or Somalia.

  • Bill Enright

    Hopefully, they will prove this cynic wrong. Every single legislator and all executive branch officers have to remember that they are Minnesotans first; they must set aside their party purity and ideological zealotry, quit trying to “score political points” at the other parties’ expense, and acknowledge that spending cuts and revenue increases together will be required in order to move our state forward. (I’m also hoping to win the lottery pretty soon…)

  • Jamie

    It’s naive to think there’s going to be meaningful bipartisanship. And I don’t even WANT the Democrats to try to compromise with Republicans because what happens almost all the time is that it’s the Democrats who do all the compromising and sacrificing. Since right-wingers continuously say (disingenuously, it turns out) that they won’t agree to any tax increases, Democrats will be stuck making more cuts to the budget than they want to or should.

    The priority should be to raise more revenue from individuals making more than $100,000 per year. The rich have had lowered taxes (both state and fed) for about a dozen years now, so it should be obvious what many of us knew before: lowering taxes for the rich does not create jobs; it just makes the rich richer, and the state poorer.

  • Tony

    Tax the rich.

  • Paul Mandell

    The first thing to do should be once the Governor has proposed his budget, the Republican Legislature should have to propose specific cuts to fix the budget before dismissing the Governors budget…. and all cuts should be measured with a fiscal note as to what financial impact such cuts have and on who… in order to make sure that sacrifice is shared by all and not just those at the lower end of the economic ladder.

  • craig

    Dayton must work with the legistlature to significantly reduce spending by eliminating or redesigning programs and departments. There should be no sacred cows. A zero based budgeting approach should be used for every area of the budget. State government spending can not continue to increase exponentially as it did under control of the Democrats for decades. The Republicans need to roll up thier sleaves and make it happen.

  • Trever

    Minnesota Medical Marijuana Bill should be relooked and passed this year. Be the 13th State in the nation to improve the lives of MN citizens and Veterans suffereing from chronic pain, PTSD, etc. by giving them an alternative to typical western medicine. The opportunity to be less dependent on man made, manufactured, addictive pain medication and the like.

    This could possibly assist Minnesota’s budget deficit by taxing applicable medical marijuana clinics and businesses etc.

  • Patrick Hirigoyen

    The top priority for all — regardless of party — is to take an honest, even-handed approach to the problems facing the state, with one overriding concern: what’s best for the state. We just finished eight years of a governor who’s overriding concern was his politics, and not the state’s long-term needs. The governor and all lawmakers should understand that Minnesotans will no longer put up with that.

  • Jeff

    Improve the economy, that is by far the most important thing that can be done to fix just about every other issue facing the state of Minnesota.

  • Michele McKenzie

    The Governor and the Legislature need only one focus to make sure our policies serve us well: dignity. If the laws they make and sign contribute to the human dignity of people in this state, they are making us stronger, healthier, smarter, and a better place to live. If a proposal undermines the dignity of anyone here, it’s the wrong choice. Let’s focus on values.

  • Mary Alice Harvey

    First of all, both the governor and the legislature must remember that quick short-term fixes do not work, and what is done to solve immediate problems needs to be done with a clear vision of long-term plans and goals. Revenue must be looked at in its entirety, a complete revision of the whole tax and revenue system; health care costs need to be looked at in the context of what will reduce costs in the long run: prevention, public health services, improved primary care, and a reevaluation of what has happened to mental health care since the closing of the state hospitals, etc.; what will give us the educational results we want and a long term plan to start getting us there; the costs of our justice system: how to reduce costs by diverting mental health patients from prison, more supervision and support for offenders, etc. In short, have a vision, make plans and see that the necessary short-term fixes are steps (even if small) in that direction.

  • Allyson

    The governor and the legislature need to work together. Politics is the art of compromise and their job is to work out the best solutions for the state of Minnesota. This means knowing when to stick by important principles and when to give in on less important points. Most of all, it means letting go of ego and of concern about the next election. If they commit to doing this, then they will be able to solve the huge problems we face: budget, jobs, immigration, education, social services.

  • LEAR

    Whatever the Governor or Legislators do to cut spending – they should lead by example and begin by cutting the spending in their own offices first. No loophole to hide their spending or “income”. They should also post their spending and any money they receive.

  • chessie2go

    We should clean up our air and water, revitalize our towns and neighborhoods, promote healthy eating and lifestyles, find ways to incorporate efficient mass transit, and make the quality of life so attractive that creative thinkers and wholesome businesses will be attracted to all areas of our state.

  • dontworry aboutit

    legalize medicinal marijuana? Just maybe. The laws against it are completely unfair and unjust. It’s time for a change and some serious attention to this major issue. It DOES have medical value and would help a lot of Minnesotans by giving them access to cheaper medicine because they could grown their own at home. It is no where near a bad for you as many people have lied and brainwashed many others to believe. No one has ever died from marijuana alone. No one can prove that it alone has every once caused a single case of lung cancer. The drug was against this flower is a waste of tax payers money, and it causes many people to lose faith in the police or see them as the bad ones for inforcing something so stupid.