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Editorial for May 20

Minnesotans deserve better

May 20, 2009
Marshall Independent

As of this writing, the Minnesota Legislature session has ended and no special session has been set.

If there was ever a time, Minnesotans, to chew out your state senators, state representatives and governor, this is it.

Minnesotans deserve better than a DFL-controlled House and Senate jamming a tax bill through the Legislature late Monday and Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who threatens to make cuts on his own, on budget and the DFL tax bill.

In a time when the state needed leaders with vision and the ability to have spirited, healthy debate on issues which will shape our state for years to come, we got partisan bickering, stubbornness and, it seems, no one with an ability or voice strong enough to ask the Legislature to think beyond the next year or two.

We have no real budget resolution and nothing to lead us forward into 2011, 2012 and beyond.

Here's what we do have:

The House and Senate passed a bill to allow terminally ill patients to use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The House and Senate passed a bill that creates a primary law for seat belt use. Now, if you drive without your seat belt, law enforcement can stop you.

The Legislature passed a bill for more than $200 million in funding for parks, clean water, arts and the outdoors in general.

Those are not bad issues to spend time on, but those bills and others should not be the only result from this year's session.

By waiting until the last moments to pass a tax bill and getting no resolution on a budget, the Legislature has left the state in a vulnerable position. The Legislature has left the control over the budget and its related issues in the hands of one person: Pawlenty.

Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, that is not a healthy solution.

The stakes are too high and the risks too big and the burden too great to leave in the hands of one person.



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