ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT As sure as a cold front follows a December snowfall, the end-of-year economic forecast and the state budget projections bring on the howls that Minnesota government is too big and taxes have to be cut. The latest forecast shows a $1 billion variance to the positive, and evidence abounds that Minnesota’s economy is performing well above national averages, despite predictions that the 2013 tax increase... Read More
ST. PAUL LEGAL LEDGER CAPITOL REPORT In explaining his evolution from protester to pragmatist, Van Jones describes in his book “Rebuild the Dream” a heart-to-heart talk in his early 30s with his more conservative father, a junior high school principal who had been an Air Force MP. “You are just blaming the system, fighting the system — but you are creating no opportunities for that individual kid who wants to excel,&r... 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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