“The state of our state is good. Not everywhere. Not for everyone. But overall, Minnesota is doing better than it has for some time, and Minnesota is doing better than most other states.”
That’s an excerpt from Gov. Dayton’s 2015 State of the State address, which he gave Thursday night. The theme of the night was reminiscent of Paul Wellstone: we all do better when we all do better.
Dayton gave credit for Minnesota’s economic success to the citizens of our great state.
“Unfortunately, our state’s successes are seldom acknowledged inside [the Capitol]. Its inhabitants are too preoccupied with assigning blame for real and imagined shortcomings. So, I want to take this opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of the people of Minnesota. And to say, ‘Thank You.'”
Gov. Dayton told the legislature and Minnesotans around the state that we have a rare opportunity to move Minnesota forward, instead of letting our state slide backward. He called on legislators to take bold action to create jobs, improve education, and invest in a comprehensive, long-term transportation plan.
Education was often in the spotlight during Gov. Dayton’s speech:
“The quality of our state is, and will be, determined primarily by the quality of our citizens, which will be influenced strongly by the quality of their educations.”
Gov. Dayton supports investing in our children’s education to make sure we continue to have the best workforce in the nation. To do that, he supports free pre-kindergarten for all Minnesota four-year-olds, a tuition freeze at the University of Minnesota and MnSCU systems, and erasing the past decade’s worth of education cuts.
Gov. Dayton claimed his second biggest priority this year is transportation. For the past 25 years, state investment has lagged behind Minnesota’s transportation needs to just maintain our roads and bridges, not to mention improve them. Republicans want to shortchange education to fund transportation with a plan full of gimmicks and shifts. Gov. Dayton opposes that plan, and is ready to do the hard work to make sure our aging roads and bridges are repaired or replaced.
Gov. Dayton has listened to the people of Minnesota, who want our state to continue improving, both economically and in quality of life. We shouldn’t have to choose between a world-class education system, maintaining our roads and bridges, or other working class priorities. Gov. Dayton knows this, and will fight for us.