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The Republican State of the State

The Republican State of the State

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In anticipation of Gov. Dayton's speech tonight (and recognizing everyone in the state of hockey will be cheering for a Wild victory tonight), Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are pleased to release an advanced copy of our vision of the state of the state.
In anticipation of Gov. Dayton's speech tonight (and recognizing everyone in the state of hockey will be cheering for a Wild victory tonight), Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are pleased to release an advanced copy of our vision of the state of the state.

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Published by: Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus on Apr 30, 2014
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10/01/2014

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
 April 30, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT:
 Katie Fulkerson, 651-296-5133 In anticipation of Gov. Dayton's speech tonight (and recognizing everyone in the state of hockey will be cheering for a Wild victory tonight), Republicans in the Minnesota Senate are pleased to release an advanced copy of our vision of the state of the state.
The Republican State of the State
As Republicans, we are naturally inclined to be optimists and see the good in people, families and our communities
 so in our view the state of the state is strong. The question is whether the path the Governor has chosen will keep Minnesota strong for the next decade and provide opportunities for our citizens to prosper.
Let’s recall recent history –
 it was the last budget that produced the current surplus. It was the Republican budget, opposed by Gov. Dayton, that held spending in check and did not raise taxes, allowing our economy to grow and recover. It was a Republican budget that paid back the school shift and filled up the depleted budget reserves. In the middle of this recovery, Gov. Dayton and the Democrats decided to raise taxes over $2 billion
 hitting all families and businesses, not just the rich as he promised. Before the ink even dried on this budget, Republicans joined farmers, small businesses and hard-working taxpayers across the state in calling for the immediate repeal of the most harmful tax increases. We are pleased the governor and the DFL majorities followed our lead and adjusted some of the unnecessary tax increases of the 2013 session.
 
 But with the national and state economies improving, we could have done so
much more this session. Instead of simply fixing last year’s mistak 
es we could have acted positively to improve our future. Republicans in the Minnesota Senate put forward a comprehensive plan to
address the projected $1.2 billion surplus by “putting families first.” The
centerpiece of the plan is a permanent half-percent cut to the state sales tax, reducing it from 6.875 to 6.375. Every time a family shops at Target or Best Buy, they would benefit from this sales tax reduction. Republicans support keeping that money in the Minnesota economy, in the pockets of hard working taxpayers across the state, not in the control of big-spending politicians in St. Paul. The sales tax reduction builds on successful Republican efforts to repeal the new taxes on farm equipment repairs and warehousing and fully conform the state income tax system to the federal government. These small changes, while welcome, will not help our national job rankings improve. For example, Minnesota is dropping from 45
th
 to 49
th
 in the Small Business and Entrepreneurship ranking, even before they factor in the recent 54% increase in the minimum wage. We also announced support for a $200 million increase in transportation spending, specifically targeting needed work on roads and bridges. The spending will be offset by requiring the Minnesota Department of Transportation to deliver on its promise of a 15% reduction in costs due to spending efficiencies. Everyone agrees we need to spend more on our roads and bridges, especially in Greater Minnesota. Putting families first means lowering commute times and getting people home from work faster and safer. Lastly, our Families First agenda included funding for the 5% campaign to make sure caregivers for our family members and seniors across the state could receive a much-deserved raise.
Even though today’s stat 
e of the state speech is one of the latest on record, there is still time to call your legislator or Gov. Dayton and urge them to drop
their plans to spend more than half of this year’s surplus. State government is
already growing more than 10% because of their 2013 budget
 not many families or businesses are seeing that kind of growth in their own budgets. Minnesota families need this money more than state government.
 
 Unfortunately, it is too late to stop the most wasteful and unnecessary spending project in recent memory
 the new Senate office building. Because Gov. Dayton needed to double his office space in the State Capitol, the Senate will soon move into a brand new building across the street, costing taxpayers $90 million. Republicans never supported this plan but unfortunately lacked the votes to stop it. We were disappointed in the lack of time and attention Gov. Dayton paid to two very important issues in both his speech and his legislative agenda
 healthcare reform and education reform. We did not hear a clear vision for the future of healthcare in Minnesota. We
didn’t hear solutions for people who are now stuck without a way to obtain
health insurance until 2015. Instead, we are stuck in the middle of a horribly failed federal government expe
riment to take over Minnesota’s nation
-leading healthcare system by replacing it with MNsure.
We spent $160 million building a website that didn’t work and in the process
280,000 Minnesotans lost their healthcare plan or doctor. This is not what Gov. Dayton promised us in previous state of the state speeches. In his first speech in 2011, Dayton proclaimed that all Minnesotans need and deserve access to quality healthcare professionals, clinics and hospitals at the most affordable prices.
In last year’s speech, Dayton promised that MNsure would provide healthcare
to an additional 145,000 poor Minnesotans who do not have insurance today. Unfortunately, due to the implementation of Obamacare in Minnesota, known as MNsure, costs are going up for everyone and access is becoming harder. And there is no record of any uninsured Minnesotan gaining insurance through MNsure. Republicans offered many ideas to reform and fix our healthcare challenges and we will keep working hard to return Minnesota to our nation-leading position in quality, access and affordability. But to date, the Democrats have listened to very few of our ideas and wonder why MNsure is failing. Republican ideas are also not being heard when it comes to education reform.

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