For anyone that has been observing the committee hearings of the Minnesota state legislature, it has been a trying ordeal. First, there is little going on that improves anything for the people in Minnesota. Second, there seems to be little serious advancement in solving Minnesota’s budget situation. The Republicans are concentrating on issues that are hardly a problem. They are still trying to make a big deal of Voter ID. We have had three recent recounts in state-wide races, in addition to the recounts in legislative races, and there was nothing said of fraud or any major improprieties. Yet they still keep dragging out a bill trying to correct a problem that doesn’t exist. If they are successful, it does mean money will be spent on something that doesn’t come close to being a priority. How does that begin to make sense when the state budget situation still needs to be addressed? They wanted the alternative teacher license bill. Do we have a shortage of teachers? From all accounts, school districts are letting teachers go because of budget constraints. Again, no real problem exists. Just a way to delay and distract. They plan to make more cuts to higher ed. How does that help people prepare for good jobs? Why would businesses want to be in Minnesota if they can’t find an educated workforce? Last, their proposed budget will cut 30,000 or more good-paying, mostly private-sector jobs and threaten our fragile economic recovery. How does that help the job situation or Minnesota’s economy?
The Republicans apparently want the prestige of the position, but they don’t seem to understand how to govern nor do they want to take the responsibility of hard votes. From some of their comments, it also sounds like they are unwilling to compromise. A number of constitutional amendments may be on the horizon so they can get what they want without doing their job. We have had two recent constitutional amendments because of their lack of courage to take needed votes. Remember, most Republicans wouldn’t vote for the needed Transportation Bill, yet many were there to support the constitutional amendment. The people of Minnesota understood that our transportation infrastructure was at a critical stage, why didn’t the Republican leadership? The delay and distract tactic has put Minnesota is a very vulnerable position, it is time for serious action.