In November 2014, Minnesota Republicans promised voters in Greater Minnesota that they would put their priorities first. Now that the legislative session is over, it’s clear that didn’t happen.
“There was a lot of talk about greater Minnesota” during the elections, said Dan Dorman, a former House GOP lawmaker who runs the Greater Minnesota Partnership. “Everybody had these high hopes it would be the greater Minnesota session. And clearly, it can’t be called that.”
GOP members of the Minnesota House promised increased broadband funding for Greater Minnesota, but then House Republicans initially proposed no increase, according to MPR. Governor Mark Dayton and DFL leaders worked to get more broadband funding, eventually pressuring Republicans into supporting these important improvements.
Transportation was another important issue for Greater Minnesota, which Republicans pledged to work on once in office. As you can guess, Republicans failed on this issue as well.
House Republicans proposed a transportation plan that wasn’t even a plan. It included enough funding to pay for one new bridge in Greater Minnesota. DFL leaders, on the other hand, proposed a comprehensive plan to address the growing needs of Minnesota’s deteriorating roads and bridges.
Again, Republicans refused to support the fixes.
Last, but certainly not least, Republicans proposed an education plan that would not have even kept up with the cost of inflation, which many education leaders said would result in cuts and layoffs.
Governor Dayton refused to accept the Republican plan to shortchange our schools. Dayton worked hard to finally get Republicans to agree to $125 million more for schools and students.
Of Minnesota Republicans, MPR writes:
“Delivering on promises, however, proved harder than making them.”
Republicans failed to come through on their promises to Minnesotans, especially in Greater Minnesota. Without DFL leaders pushing GOP lawmakers to make key investments in our priorities, this session would have had even worse outcomes for Greater Minnesota families.
It’s fair to say that Republicans did not make good on their word.