I attended the Town Hall Meeting at the Burnsville Library on Wednesday evening. Senator Dan Hall, Representatives Diane Anderson, Mary Liz Holberg, and Pam Myra were at the front. Representative Pat Garofalo was the facilitator. The room was overflowing with people. The legislators’ answers were pretty much the same lines we have been hearing since the beginning of the year. Representative Holberg did say the legislative majority and Governor Dayton were very close on a number of issues and believed the state shutdown could be averted.
The plain fact is the Republican majority has not been flexible in addressing the budget and they have done little to improve the job situation. From my perspective, they have wasted a huge amount of money by not getting the budget done during the Session. Think of the time and money that is going towards the preparation for the state shutdown, in addition to the money that will be used if that does happen. Add to that all the time and money that is going towards putting inappropriate and unnecessary constitutional amendments on the ballot next year. Yet these amendments seemed to have been more important to the Republicans than the budget or jobs. This group failed to do the work they were elected to do and their actions have added to Minnesota’s fiscal problems. Their irresponsible behavior certainly hasn’t done anything to improve the image of Minnesota or its economic situation.
It is time for legislators to stop playing their political games and get down to business. Their priority should be on governing and helping all people in Minnesota. We have seen the Governor compromise several times, it is about time for the legislature to do so. The Republican majority needs to focus on negotiating a settlement before the end of the month. We all need to encourage them to do so. The stakes are high!