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These critical reforms can be grouped into five areas to help 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!
Take a moment to read through our Roadmap below and add your voice to help make it a reality for all Minnesotans.
2020 was a tough year across Minnesota – not only due to pandemic health concerns but, at times, because of government-imposed barriers that inhibited innovators and health experts from slowing the spread of the pandemic.
Now, facing a $1.2 deficit in the upcoming biennium, the last thing lawmakers should be doing is balancing the budget with a “revenue-heavy” approach funded on the backs of Minnesota families and businesses still struggling to recover. Rather than tax hikes, we are urging lawmakers to focus on pro-growth reforms that will get our economy back on track for the long term, including tax relief, regulatory reform, and re-prioritizing and re-examining existing spending to set our state on a sustainable fiscal path.
Blindly continuing the broken high taxes and spending status quo without additional oversight or review of non-performing programs will only further hinder our recovery at a time when Minnesotans can least afford it. Minnesota families and businesses have tightened their belts, innovated, and done more with less since this pandemic began. We should demand government officials do the same.
Minnesota’s economy continues to suffer under the dual burden of pandemic-related health crisis and heavy-handed government response. The faster we can empower businesses to innovate and adapt to safely reopen, the faster we can get Minnesotans back to work, mitigating the economic damage done to workers, their families, and the state’s budget. Ordinary Minnesotans – workers, small business owners, people from all walks of life – are bearing the brunt of this public health and economic crisis. By prioritizing their health and ability to get back to work responsibly, we not only jumpstart sustainable economic recovery, but we lay the foundation for a smart state budget to follow.
The governor needs to end his continual push for emergency powers and get back to working with the Legislature to address the state’s long-term challenges. More than ever, the Legislature needs to work to eliminate red tape, unpredictable review processes and over burdensome regulations that are stifling Minnesota’s innovators and entrepreneurs and hindering investment and job creation. In addition, challenges that arose during the pandemic reinforced the importance of constitutional guardrails, as some state officials and agencies set aside the rule of law in favor of biased political responses.
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.
This public health crisis has demonstrated our one-size-fits-all system does not meet the education needs of every child. But is also provided a glimpse of another way of doing things. It provided us a chance to ask not just “why do we do it this way,” but “why don’t we do it better.” Minnesota students and parents took this approach and have started to create bottom-up solutions to address the challenges COVID presented by developing learning pods and micro schools.
Now we have the chance to learn from this experience and to turn that learning into action. Now is the time to insert reforms into our education system that enables students, teachers, and families to adapt and meet any challenges we are faced with. Now is the time to prioritize students and families over buildings and bureaucracies.
Individuals are most likely to thrive when the government respects human dignity, when barriers to opportunity are removed, and when individuals have a reliable pathway back to success, regardless of their history. Last summer’s agreement on policing reform took an important step toward increased accountability and transparency and will help restore trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
Building on that bipartisan success, we encourage the legislature to commit to ongoing criminal justice reforms beyond policing to ensure our institutions respect equal justice for every Minnesotan. The legislature should also continue work on removing structural barriers to good policing such as civil asset forfeiture, qualified immunity, and an overemphasis on ticketing or arrest numbers, and continue to examine the role that police unions and collective bargaining agreements have in creating barriers to holding bad actors accountable.
Unfortunately, new barriers are being created as well, which directly attack constitutional protections of free speech, freedom of association, and open debate in the public sphere, on college campuses, and at the Minnesota Legislature.
With Minnesota already ranked as having one of the worst tax codes in the country, the state should not be seeking to increase regressive government-imposed costs – especially as families and businesses struggle to recover from the economic hardship brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The governor’s budget proposal completely misses the mark. Increasing taxes and adding to consumers’ costs, while forcing top-down California-style energy mandates and doing nothing to fix the red tape and government bureaucracy holding back our health care system, means less opportunity and more economic harm for our state. Driving investment out of the state is the last thing that the governor should be doing during times of economic uncertainty.
Everyone should have access to the high-quality health care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford. But Governor Walz’s so-called “moderate” approach of a “public option” is a false hope. There is nothing moderate or affordable about it. Ultimately, it ends in a government monopoly and thus in widespread disruption, cost hikes, and reduced access to care.
We have real challenges in our health care system. Despite its strengths, it can be complex, bureaucratic, and unaffordable for many. But Minnesotans aren’t calling for a government takeover or elimination of private insurance options. Instead, they support targeted changes to fix what’s broken, preserve what works, and ensure a strong safety net for those who need it the most.
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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