Martin Luther King, Jr. said it half a century ago: budgets are moral documents. The budget that Trump sent to Congress this week is immoral as well as unworkable. It deliberately overstates the amount of money available, which will lead to even greater deficits. Then it slashes programs that build for the future, protect clean air and water, and serve our most vulnerable citizens and children.
Republicans can be expected to cut every corner when it comes to funding health and human services. This time around, they’re also using funny math to avoid responsibility for their cuts. Continue reading
According to Governor Mark Dayton, “Agriculture is not a partisan issue—all Minnesotans want a strong agricultural industry.” That’s far from evident in the agriculture omnibus bill that Republicans in the legislature sent to the governor –which he vetoed last week. Besides restricting spending for the Agriculture Growth, Research and Innovation (AGRI) program, the bill takes away the Department of Agriculture authority to enforce pesticide regulations. That puts Minnesota in conflict with the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Continue reading
Republicans like law enforcement, right? You wouldn’t know it from the cuts and underfunding in the Judiciary and Public Safety omnibus bill. Continue reading
Governor Mark Dayton just said no to all the Republican omnibus bills over the past week. Notice, I said Republican omnibus bills – because these bills were all about partisanship and not at all about consensus or compromise, and most of all, they were not about what’s best for Minnesota. Continue reading
Just thirteen more days in the session, and the behind-closed-doors shenanigans have begun. First, Republicans refuse to even negotiate with Governor Mark Dayton over the budget. That’s stupid, but well within the realm of hyper-partisan politicking. The real fast ones are being pulled in conference committees, out of sight of the public and sometimes even out of sight of the rest of the legislature.
As Sally Jo Sorensen writes, it’s magic:
“It’s spring, there’s magic in the air, and language now appears suddenly in Minnesota legislative conference committee, popping up overnight like the state mushroom or asparagus.”
Thanks to two whistle-blowing state senators, we know about two sneaky provisions hiding in plain sight in the final three weeks of the Minnesota legislative session: repeal of campaign finance reforms and a sell-out of Minnesota privacy rules. Continue reading
More than 50 years ago, I went to public schools in rural Minnesota. My husband attended public school in Minneapolis. My children went to St. Paul public schools. Now my great-nieces and great-nephew are in St. Paul Public Schools. I have taught in public schools. So did my aunt and my great-aunt and my grandmother.
I say this to tell you that I know about public schools – their successes and their shortcomings. I believe in public education as a crucial part of our duty to our children, to our state, to citizenship itself.
Minnesota’s legislature is set to grossly underfund education. That’s a failure that affects every person in our state. For me, that failure hits very close to home. Continue reading
Complying with one of Trump’s executive orders, DHS opened the Victims Of Immigrant Crimes Engagement Office or VOICE on April 26. The new office’s hotline was promptly swamped with calls about UFOs, Sasquatch, “an immigrant living in NYC on my tax dollars” (Melania Trump), “an orange colored, toupee wearing alien in a bathrobe has been spotted at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave,” and kidnapping by flying saucer. The callers took advantage of another coincidence that ICE probably didn’t know about: April 26 was the annual observance of #AlienDay – a promotion by the Alien movie franchise. Continue reading