House Minority Leader DFL Rep. Paul Thissen has a column in the Star Tribune today that is just so spot on that I must share it. In it, Thissen points out that Minnesota has made heaps of progress in the past two years, but there’s more to do for working families. Based on the first few weeks of the legislative session, it’s obvious that conservative priorities in St. Paul aren’t the solution.
The first bill Republicans introduced was a $250 million tax cut that largely benefits corporations and wealthy special interests. Their plan cuts income taxes for the owners of businesses, but offers not a dime of relief for the employees whose wages have stagnated.
Of course, we all want our Minnesota businesses to prosper. But helping the rich get richer at the expense of the middle class simply is not an effective strategy to grow Minnesota’s economy. Our top priority should be looking for ways to rebalance our economy in the interests of hardworking, middle-class families.
Middle class families remain the top priority for progressives. Progressives in St. Paul are proposing free tuition at two-year vocational colleges for Minnesota students, free pre-k for all our youngest learners to be ready for kindergarten, and guaranteed paid sick leave for workers and their families.
Let’s not waste this opportunity. Let’s continue down the path of the last two years and show the nation that a state that prioritizes middle class and working families instead of elite corporate special interests can and will prosper. If the Republicans change course and choose the path that prioritizes hardworking Minnesotans, we’ll gladly work with them. But judging by their actions so far, corporate special interests may once again have the upper hand.