DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values

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Minnesota needs a fair and balanced budget 

This is the last full week of the regular 2015 Legislative Session. While Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL legislators are working to build a better Minnesota for all Minnesotans with the state’s $2 billion budget surplus, House GOP want $4 billion in permanent tax giveaways for corporations and special interests, to kick 90,000 working families off health care, to cut job creation programs, and shortchange our children’s futures.

E-12 education – $537.9 million gap

Gov. Dayton’s budget would send 47,300 four-year-olds to preschool for free, continue early learning scholarships for over 10,000 kids, eliminate the Head Start waiting list for 2,400 young children, increase funding for every school district in Minnesota, and make important investments to improve student achievement and help all our children achieve their greatest potential.   

By contrast, the House GOP plan would: 

  • Give limited new funding for essential classroom needs
  • Give no funding for universal prekindergarten
  • Give no funding for school breakfast for our youngest learners
  • End funding for Regional Centers of Excellence, which have helped significantly narrow achievement gaps in struggling schools
  • Give no new funding for special education
  • Give no new funding for Head Start, forcing 2,400 kids to stay on the waiting list
  • Give no new funding for the Positive Behavior in School Program, which has significantly improved student behavior and curbed unnecessary school detentions
  • End the opportunity for many high school students to take the ACT in preparation for college and other post-secondary studies 

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Gov. Dayton Takes His Pre-K Plan to Class

Mark_DaytonTo promote his plan to provide free all-day preschool for all 4-year-olds, Gov. Mark Dayton recently visited a classroom in Newport.

“We have already seen the tremendous successes of all-day kindergarten, which got underway just this year,” Gov. Dayton said. “But we have a lot more work to do to narrow Minnesota’s achievement gap, and provide excellent educations for every student in Minnesota. That work has to start now, and it must begin with our youngest learners.”

What does this plan mean to us “by the numbers”?  Here they are:

  • 47,300: In its first year, Gov. Dayton’s universal preschool program would send 47,000 kids to preschool, free of charge. Within just a few years, enrollment would grow to roughly 57,000 four-year-olds.
  • 50th: A study from Education Week noted recently that Minnesota ranks last in the nation in access to all-day preschool programs.
  • $16:1: Leading researchers and economists have found that investments in high-quality early learning programs can yield long-term benefits of as much as $16 for every $1 invested in early learning programs.
  • 3rd: Minnesota is the 3rd-most expensive state in the nation for child care, costing $10,812 per year (on average) for one four-year-old. Sending kids to preschool all day would help students prepare for success in school, eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for preschool programming, and save families additional money on child care every year.


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Legislators on spring recess, state budget in play

Members of the Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota Senate are on a spring recess. When lawmakers return the first week in April, they have six weeks to conclude their work before the May 18 adjournment deadline.

Leaders from the House DFL Caucus will travel the state to talk with citizens and editorial boards about DFL plans to invest the state budget in children, students and working families and proposals that honestly pay to repair Minnesota’s deteriorating roads and bridges. This is in stark contrast to the House GOP budget that puts corporate special interests ahead of the needs of hardworking families.

The House DFL leaders’ schedule includes the following events which are open to the public: (more…)

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Rep. Selcer Update – March 24, 2015

There has been a lot of discussion lately about oil train safety in Minnesota. As the oil boom continues in North Dakota, more and more oil from the Bakken makes its way through our state as it is shipped across the US. These oil trains present a growing public safety concern that we need to address quickly.

Last month, a train that traveled through our Minnesota communities spilled nearly three million gallons of oil in a train derailment in West Virginia, leading to major fires and the evacuation of hundreds of families. Just last week, another train that had run through Minnesota derailed and exploded in Illinois, leading to major fires. There have been five oil train explosions in the last five weeks in the US and Canada. According to the US Department of Transportation, these accidents are likely to become more frequent, as more and more oil is shipped by rail.

A proposal has been introduced to reduce the likelihood of an oil train disaster, improve public safety and fire preparedness along rail corridors, and provide property tax relief to communities confronting issues of rail safety. While we don’t have any oil trains running directly through our community, this is a common sense safety issue and I strongly support these preventative safety measures. (more…)

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What you won’t see on Jeb Bush’s new website or read in his e-book

Jeb-Bush-CPACWhat’s actually included in Jeb Bush’s new e-book and on his new website reveals less about what another Bush presidency would look like than what it omits. Bush is pushing such bold platitudes as our need to “protect our shores” and be “a force of good not bad.” But he’s leaving out his real record of leadership as governor, which more closely resembles the backward policy goals of Mitt Romney than a bold reformer willing to move our country forward.

Fighting for the wealthy’ s ‘right to rise’ – Jeb Bush consistently cut taxes for the wealthiest Floridians and big business, including the wealth tax on financial instruments, like stocks, bonds and mutual funds, and estate taxes. He supported his brother’s Bush tax cuts, which largely benefited the wealthy and Wall Street investors, and he continues to support eliminating the capital gains tax – which has been called one of the top five tax breaks for the rich.

Income inequality – In Florida, it got worse under Jeb Bush’s governorship, with the average income of the richest 5 percent of Florida families increasing by more than 22 percent, while the average income of the poorest fifth of Florida families barely changed.

Education – Jeb Bush supported a change to school funding formula that slashed millions from large urban school districts, consistently proposed hiking college tuition, oversaw a nearly 50 percent rise in average in-state tuition for the state university system that amounted to more than $1,000 per student, and proposed millions of dollars in cuts to university funding.

Health care – Jeb Bush directed the legislature to overhaul the state’s children’s health insurance program, which eliminated health care coverage for thousands of Florida children, and Bush supports the Ryan budget which would end Medicare as we know it and increase out-of-pocket health care costs for seniors.

Below is a statement from DNC spokesperson Ian Sams on Jeb Bush’s website and e-book:

“Jeb Bush’s record as Florida’s governor reads like the track listing on the greatest hits of failed Republican ideas that line the pockets of the wealthy and big corporations at the expense of working families. Jeb’s attempt to rebrand himself as a champion for middle class opportunity is as laughable as the idea of Mitt Romney as an anti-poverty crusader. Bush has spent his entire career fighting for a right to rise for the select few at the


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