Historically, Minnesota has thrived because its people have been willing to invest in the foundations of a good economy and decent place to live — education, infrastructure, quality of life — and have been willing to share the costs equitably.
Well, hurray! After a decade of disinvestment in Minnesota and its citizens, and the best efforts of Republican policies to take us back to 19th century Robber Baron dystopia, we’re once again on the right track.
Let’s examine some of the accomplishments of the 2013 Legislature and Gov. Dayton to keep Minnesota solvent and forward looking:
• Balanced the budget honestly after a decade of gridlock, gimmicks, deficits and short-sighted budgeting.
• Made the tax system fairer, closing corporate loopholes and ensuring that the wealthiest pay at the same rate as the rest of us (OMG, the sky is falling).
• Invested in our earliest learners via early childhood education and made all-day kindergarten a reality, providing every Minnesota student a better chance to succeed, especially in low-income areas where the “achievement gap” is most pronounced.
• Made new investments in the University of Minnesota and state colleges and universities after a decade of cuts and froze tuition for college students after years of skyrocketing increases.
• Established a consumer-oriented health care exchange providing for a “competitive” market among insurers and reformed MNCare to provide coverage for thousands more working people who otherwise might not be able to afford health insurance.
• Passed the Clean Water Accountability Act, which directs the state to clearly identify the sources of pollution and to rank cleanup projects so that projects that will have the biggest impact are funded first.
• Extended the same rights to gays and lesbians as those afforded heterosexuals.
Thanks, legislators and governor, for making Minnesota solvent and future oriented once again!