ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT A joint hearing of the House Education Policy and Education Finance committees recently generated more than two hours of passionate testimony around an unusually broad and aspirational topic: “The World’s Best Workforce.” In contrast to the sharply divided pro-and-con on Gov. Mark Dayton’s tax overhaul a few days later, on this subject there was overwhelming consensus that the goal w... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT Watching a PBS documentary recently in which naturalized U.S. citizens describe exactly why they love their new country, I was struck by the number of people who praised not just freedom and the opportunity to get ahead and start a business, but by many others who marveled at the safety and security and the equal access provided by our innovative governments. One Latina woman, for instance, gushed over the... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT Legendary playwright and poet Oscar Wilde famously scoffed at cynics who seemed to know “the price of everything, and the value of nothing.” And that critique might apply to those who focus too much on the net revenue increases in Gov. Mark Dayton’s tax-and-budget plan unveiled this week, and not enough on the enormous value of the public investments for which those taxes pay. Long-term a... Read More
ST PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT Whether to strive for a monumentally historic session or simply a politically safe product — whether to reach for brass rings or get down to a few brass tacks — is the big strategic choice facing Gov. Dayton and the 2013 Legislature. In my last Capitol Report column, I offered some cheap advice, based on 40 years of Legislature-watching, urging that long-term goals (brass rings) be establishe... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT A history lesson about the possibilities of productive legislative achievement — drawing from the landmark session of 1973 under brand new DFL legislative majorities and a DFL governor at mid-term — was offered in an article by veteran St. Paul Pioneer Press reporter Bill Salisbury this week. That 1973 session, Salisbury wrote, ”provided consumer and environmental protections, boosted wom... Read More
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