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House GOP Shows How Classy They Are

Statement from Minnesota DFL Chair Ken Martin:

2015 House GOP Caucus Floor Packet“Today the House Republican Caucus used taxpayer funds to distribute packets to legislators attacking Gov. Mark Dayton.

“It is appalling that the Republicans think it is OK to disrespect a sitting Governor in the manner they did using taxpayer dollars. While Republicans seem gleeful that they have thrown cold water on Gov. Dayton and DFL attempts to move this state forward, the reality is Minnesotans expect more from their elected officials during this special session than juvenile behavior like this exhibited by House Republicans.

“Over the last three weeks, Gov. Dayton fought for a better Minnesota – and he has succeeded. By standing up to House Republicans, and fighting for a better outcome to this legislative session, the Governor has secured significant increases in education funding and better environmental and consumer protections. It is the House Republicans who threw cold water on this session attempting to thwart any real progress on issues of concern to Minnesotans like transportation, education, health care, and the environment. 

“I call on Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt to issue an apology to Gov. Dayton and focus on the legislative work at hand.”


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Minnesota_State_Capitol“The Legislature is being forced into a special session by Republicans who refused to compromise and are more interested in providing tax giveaways to corporations than investing in education. Until Republicans stop prioritizing the want of a few special interests over the needs of tens of thousands of Minnesota children, they will continue to block the progress needed for future economic success.

“Make no mistake, the Senate and House DFL caucus and Gov. Mark Dayton are committed to early learners and investing in a better Minnesota for all Minnesotans. Now is the time for Minnesotans to stand with Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators and tell Republicans that with a budget surplus after a decade of scarcity and cuts, now is the time to provide more opportunities for success for our children.”

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By Ken Martin, chairman, Minnesota DFL

LimoWith a $2 billion budget surplus, legislators should be focused on investing the money to grow our economy and provide opportunities for all Minnesotans. Instead, Republicans are prioritizing corporations who cannot vote in elections and multi-millionaires who can fund Republican campaigns.

The biggest winners of the Republicans’ tax bill are the Canadian owner of the Mall of America and other big corporations. The Republicans plan to permanently eliminate the statewide business property tax, giving corporations a multi-billion dollar tax cut.

Republicans also passed huge tax cuts for the heirs of multi-million dollar estates which will benefit “the 1 percent of the 1 percent” – about 800 Minnesotans. When totally implemented, this $171 million per biennium tax cut is more money than the entire Republican increase for Minnesota’s education budget.

So who are the losers under the Republican budget?

Our kids lose. The Republican education bill will lead to teacher layoffs and larger class sizes. For every $15 in tax giveaways Republicans provide to special interests, they spend $1 on education. While Gov. Mark Dayton called for free preschool for all 4-year-olds, a proven economic development tool, Republicans provide very little investment in early education, leaving thousands of young learners behind.

Our college students lose. After a successful two-year college tuition freeze at all state colleges and universities, Republicans are underfunding higher education. This is estimated to mean tuition increases for 40,000 college students. This is distressing news for a state that ranks high in student debt. 

Working Minnesotans loose. The Republicans’ health and human services bill eliminates MinnesotaCare, throwing 100,000 working Minnesotans off their health care. Considering the top 25 counties per capita for MinnesotaCare enrollees are in Greater Minnesota and the plan cuts rural hospital funding as well, this is a huge blow to rural communities. 

Small business owners lose. While large businesses are catching the breaks, Republicans are putting the brakes on small business owners’ ability to grow the economy. Cuts to job creation funds that help small business owners create and expand jobs and underfunding the state’s broadband infrastructure will have a direct impact on small business owners, particularly in rural communities.

The good news is that the people of Minnesota still have a voice, but time is running short. Conference committees are currently working out the differences between the Republicans’ plans to give the state budget surplus away to special interests and DFL plans to invest this money in initiatives that will grow our economy. I encourage you to contact your state legislators today and tell them to prioritize kids over corporations and MinnesotaCare over multi-millionaires and create a Minnesota where everyone can prosper so that our state can have economic success for years to come.

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DFL Chairman Ken Martin on Equal Pay Day

ken-martinOn April 14, 2015, DFL State Chair Ken Martin released this statement:

“On Equal Pay Day it is important to recognize the pay gap between men and women, and remind us of how we impede our own success when we refuse to compensate equal work with equal pay. In Minnesota, women make just 80 cents for every $1 earned by a man. For the average woman, that is a loss in compensation of more than $430,000 over her working lifetime for her, her family and our economy.

“Minnesota has always had a high percentage of women in the workforce, many who are the primary or sole breadwinner for their families. With this in mind, in 2014, Gov. Dayton and DFL legislators passed the ‘Women's Economic Security Act.’ The Act is aimed at leveling the workforce playing field.

“Equal Pay Day is reminder that even though we’ve made gains for Minnesota women and their families, there is more work to do. Lawmakers must keep women’s economic security at the forefront of their work because when women succeed, Minnesota succeeds.”

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DFL Chairman Ken Martin on budget process

ken-martin“With release of the Senate DFL Caucus and House budget proposals this week, the stage is set for how the remainder of the session will play out.

“The House Republicans continue their failed practices of the past and aim to balance the budget on the backs of students and seniors. Even with a budget surplus and the opportunity to ensure all Minnesotans are taking part in Minnesota’s financial success; Republicans are more interested in tax cuts for businesses and wealthy Minnesotans.

“In sharp contrast, both Gov. Dayton and the Senate DFL make investments that will grow our economy. From early childhood education to ensure all children start school ready to learn to helping working families face the high cost of quality child care, DFL leaders are looking for long-term prosperity, not a sound bite for the next election.

“As legislators head home for their spring recess, I encourage citizens to reach out to their state representative and state senator and send them a message that the state budget should be invested in children, students and families to build an even better Minnesota for all.”


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