Editorial: Some thoughts on this year's sessionWhile there’s plenty to be said about the just-completed Minnesota legislative session, a few things stand out.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
While there’s plenty to be said about the just-completed Minnesota legislative session, a few things stand out.
First and foremost, the override of Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto of the transportation bill — a veto that came despite widespread statewide support for the measure — will provide a much-needed influx of funds for our state’s roads. For our area specifically, expansion of Minnesota 60 will be accelerated; in Nobles County, for instance, an additional $9.9 million in county state aid dollars will be forthcoming over the next 10 years.
District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton and other House Republicans who voted for the override were harshly criticized by the state GOP, but we believe they acted in the best interest of the state and shouldn’t be reprimanded for following their own consciences.
Also of note was an influx of local government aid dollars and a property tax cap. While the LGA boost will certainly help communities that have struggled from drastic cuts in such funding earlier this decade, the tax cap — 3.9 percent for communities with populations greater than 2,500 — basically sends the message to local governments that the state doesn’t trust them with their own wallets. The cap’s intent — keeping property taxes low — is certainly commendable — but we feel local governments know how to manage their budgets better than the state.
Thirdly, House Minority Leader Marty Seifert, in a conversation with the Daily Globe Wednesday, noted that the DFL-controlled Legislature took $500 million from state reserves to balance the budget, leaving only between $100 million in $200 million in the coffers. Seifert said that action “bordered on irresponsible,” and it’s clear that far tougher decisions will need to be made next year in the event of another substantial shortfall.
Last, but certainly not least: Things got done on time. And, for the most part, they were done amicably. In an election year, that’s worthy of commendation.