These critical reforms can be grouped into five areas: restore fiscal stability, enable innovation, increase investment, expand access to the American Dream, and protect taxpayers.
Reining in an out-of-control government requires lawmakers to make a courageous stand on the issues that are right – but not always popular. And sometimes, the only way to give them a dose of courage is to make sure they know the public supports them, and is willing to hold them accountable for their actions!
There is no question Minnesota spending is out of control. The budget increased nearly 10 percent again last year, and billions of dollars of debt service payments are eating into it.
Instead of continuing to dump more and more resources into unsustainable government programs, the legislature needs to look at ways to reform long-term structural spending, address waste and fraud within state programs and seek out innovative ways to restore free-market solutions to addressing the state’s challenges.
Government red tape, unpredictable review processes and over burdensome regulations are stifling Minnesota’s innovators and entrepreneurs and hindering investment and job creation.
Worse, state agencies are bending to political pressure rather than enforcing the rule of law. The legislature should consider reforms to the administrative rule making process and adding legislative oversight of the costliest of rules.
The best investment we can make in our future is making sure ALL our kids have access to a high-quality education regardless of income or socioeconomic status. Minnesota lawmakers should expand opportunities for families to take advantage of innovative, non-traditional options and give parents and students more control in deciding what educational path is best for them.
Individuals are most likely to thrive when the government respects human dignity. They are more likely to be able to fully participate in and achieve their American Dream when burdensome licensing practices are minimized, when barriers to opportunity are removed and when individuals have a reliable pathway back to success, regardless of their history. Unfortunately, new barriers are being created as well, which directly attack constitutional protections of free and open debate both on college campuses and at the legislature.
There is no question Minnesotans have benefited from historic passage of federal tax reform. However, interactions between state and federal codes have actually raised taxes on thousands of Minnesota families and businesses. The legislature should work towards ensuring tax conformity that preserves the benefits of state and federal tax relief. Especially in a time of surplus, the state should not be increasing government-imposed costs on transportation, health care, or prescription drugs.
We can make Minnesota one of the nation’s best places to live, work and raise a family. But lawmakers need to know we want reform. The plan won’t happen overnight, but with enough voices for change, politicians will listen.
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