The Democratic Party is not a top-down organization. It is a network of state and local organizations with the freedom and autonomy to elect their own leaders, recruit and endorse their own candidates, and write their own state platforms.
Our success or failure locally has little to do with the DNC or it's leadership. It relies on the commitment we make to doing the work necessary to connect with our communities. The harder we work organizing outside our own circle, the more effective we'll be. ... See MoreSee Less
THANK YOU! I am so grateful to all of you who made your voices heard at the Minnesota legislature this past session. Over the last several weeks, my legislative colleagues and I have reached out to ask for your help. And because you responded and spoke out, several of the worst legislative proposals were in fact defeated.
Proposals for school vouchers, to lay-off 200 corrections officers, and to eliminate limits on unfettered private campaign contributions and spending were turned back. We actually made a $19 million new investment in helping families with high childcare costs. We made sure that Vocational Rehabilitation Services that help people with disabilities find good, dignified jobs was funded. Money was appropriated to make sure the 2020 Census is accurate and that everyone is counted. Debilitating cuts to the Department of Human Rights and the Minnesota Trade Officer were avoided. Conversions of nonprofit health plans to for-profit is delayed until 2019. It looks like the preemption bill will be vetoed by the Governor. A decent bonding bill was passed. And my proposal to make sure all school's test their drinking water for lead will become law. All of that thanks to you and your willingness to exercise your power together!
Of course, our work is far from over. Laws were passed - like the functional elimination of the Office on the Economic Status of Women and limitations on the public's ability to challenge corporate actions that endanger our water and air -- that take us backward decades. We did not take the steps we needed to protect our state against cyberattacks. The Republicans bowed down to pressure from the cable and telecommunications industry to stop my effort to enact common sense Internet privacy laws here in Minnesota. Stronger wage theft provisions were left on the cutting room floor. Attacks on the teachers, cops and firefighters, and other public employees are the order of the day. The budget leaves a huge hole for transit and transportation options for people with disabilities. Tuition will go up as much as 5% at public colleges and universities. And most heartbreaking of all, the legislature placed in statute for the first time a ban on undocumented Minnesotans obtaining car insurance or a license, making us all less safe. Minnesota is better than this and we need to continue to work together to make it happen.
Finally, I am deeply concerned about the long-term effect of this budget. During my time as Speaker of the House, we made a structurally balanced budget a priority. We paid back the billions of dollars the previous legislature had borrowed from our schools. We closed a multi-billion budget deficit. And we put in place mechanisms to build up a healthy rainy day fund. This is not the most glamorous work of public policy, but it is critically important. Unfortunately, with tax cuts that balloon in the future, a significant shift of funding from schools and hospitals to pay for transportation, and elimination of the fund we use to help make health care affordable for working Minnesotans, the legislative majorities have set the stage for a return to the decade of deficits we faced as this century began.
As always, please pass along questions and concerns. Thank you again for your voices. Let's keep them raised! ... See MoreSee Less