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Senate Republicans preparing for shutdown

Government Shutdown

By Ken Martin, DFL Chairman

“The same Republican Party that brought Minnesota into a government shutdown in 2011 is already preparing itself for another destructive shutdown.

“On Wednesday afternoon, with several weeks left before a shutdown would be triggered, state Sen. Sean Nienow (R- Cambridge) attempted to advance a bill he calls ‘Plan B,’ even while negotiations between legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton are still in progress. Every single Senate Republican voted for Nienow’s motion.

“Make no mistake: this Plan B is just a desperate attempt to deflect accountability from their Party, which has refused to move from their negotiating position for weeks. Minnesotans don’t want to eliminate MinnesotaCare for 100,000 of our neighbors. We don’t want an education budget that would force cuts in our school districts. We don’t want to end up with a budget that sacrifices long-term fiscal stability for a temporary tax cut. Minnesotans will see through their cynical politics if Tea Party Republicans continue to propose such destructive policies and try to dodge responsibility for the results.

“While Republicans are busy preparing Plan B, Senate DFLers are still working hard on Plan A: negotiating a compromise with the House, passing a responsible budget and keeping the government from shutting down in the first place. If Senate Republicans are truly concerned about Minnesota’s future, they should work to avoid a shutdown instead of spending the last days of session avoiding the blame.”

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Kurt Zellers: No regrets?

photo: Tom Wallace, StarTribune

photo: Tom Wallace, StarTribune

On Friday during a debate with his other GOP primary opponents, Kurt Zellers said he had “no regrets” about anything in his legislative career.

 Really? Kurt Zellers must be suffering from amnesia. Here are a few he might want to consider from the last four years:

  • Shutting down state government.
  • Borrowing hundreds of millions against our future rather than asking the wealthiest Minnesotans to pay their fair share. Zellers’ idea to cover part of the 2011 budget deficit with tobacco bonds will end up costing Minnesotans nearly double.
  • Borrowing billions from our schools to cover the budget deficit in 2010.
  • Putting two divisive and controversial amendments—one to ban gay marriage and another to discriminate against seniors and veterans with voter ID—on the 2012 ballot.

While Kurt Zellers might not have regrets about his voting record, Minnesotans do and voted the House Republican majority out of power in 2012. Voters know that government shutdowns and borrowing from our schools need to be a thing of the past and they are looking for leaders to move Minnesota forward. Kurt Zellers has proven he is not that leader.

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Appreciates what Selcer has done

Rep. [Yvonne] Selcer’s refrain was heard often during the last campaign and in her first year at the Legislature — borrowing money from our schools is the wrong way to balance a budget and the right thing to do is pay our schools back. Her message, persistence and commitment paid off. The state’s most recent economic report confirmed that due to our growing economy, we’re finally able to pay back the billions owed to our schools.

The 2011 Legislature voted to borrow over $2 billion from our schools as a part of the budget that ended the 2011 state government shutdown. Consequently, the incoming Legislature faced another deficit and owed our schools still over $1 billion dollars. Rep. Selcer understood that balancing the budget on the backs of schools is basically taking from our children. Education has always been a top priority for her and she has been a key advocate for paying our schools back. The end result was a plan to accelerate the repayment of past debt and put in place new investments for a stronger future — such as all-day, every day kindergarten.

It’s not often that elected officials follow through on promises made. As an advocate for quality public schools, and the funding such schools require, I appreciate what Rep. Selcer has done when it comes to paying back our schools. We still have plenty of challenges down the road, but digging out of the debt and investing in our children’s education has us moving forward.

Deborah Calvert
Eden Prairie News, December 19, 2013

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13-11 Paulsen DCCC AdDespite the damage his government shutdown did to our economy last month and with another fiscal showdown looming in January, Congressman Erik Paulsen is refusing to rule out another shutdown over defunding the Affordable Care Act.

Congressman Paulsen and his House Republicans haven’t passed a budget to avoid another government shutdown even though the deadline will hit in just 60 days – and they are leaving Americans vulnerable to another damaging shutdown over Tea Party demands to defund the Affordable Care Act. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a paid Facebook ad campaign alerting voters that Congressman Paulsen and House Republicans haven’t passed a budget to avoid another shutdown.

“Congressman Paulsen has apparently learned nothing from him reckless shutdown – the American people want him to work across the aisle, but Congressman Paulsen and House Republicans still haven’t passed a budget that gives up on their irresponsible demand to defund the Affordable Care Act, which could cause yet another shutdown,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “With only 60 days until Congressman Paulsen and his House Republicans could bring us another disastrous shutdown, when will they give up their Tea Party demands and back a commonsense budget that takes a balanced approach to our finances?”

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erik-paulsenOne year from today, frustrated voters in Minnesota will have the chance to hold Congressman Erik Paulsen accountable for his wrong priorities – and the constant chaos of his Republican Congress that is threatening the financial stability of the middle class.

From government shutdowns and threats of default to a budget that threatens our seniors and ends the Medicare guarantee, Congressman Paulsen and House Republicans’ record and agenda are disconnected from reality and full of the wrong priorities. While Congressman Paulsen and House Republicans play reckless political games, they are ignoring key priorities like a balanced approach to the budget, bipartisan immigration reform and working together on helping to create jobs for the middle class.

“One year from today, Minnesota voters will have the opportunity to toss Congressman Paulsen – and his wrong priorities – out of office, and replace him with a problem-solving Democrat who will work across the aisle on commonsense solutions and improving our economy,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Time and again, Congressman Paulsen has shown that he will put Big Oil and big corporations ahead of our seniors, and millionaires ahead of the middle class; the government shutdown only underscored Congressman Paulsen’s recklessness and irresponsibility. Congressman Paulsen’s constituents are counting down the days – now 365 – until they can send him packing and replace him with a representative who will focus on creating jobs, growing our economy, and protecting the middle class and seniors.”

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©2014 DFL SD 48. Prepared and paid for by Senate District 48 DFL, Sharon Borine, Chair, 18285 Croixwood Ln, Eden Prairie, MN 55347