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Minnesota Revenues Falling Below Forecast

The State of Minnesota's revenue in July fell "well below government forecasts", continuing a trend that has gone on for several months. Governor Dayton naturally focused on the extremely modest tax cuts that the legislature has just enacted: Dayton said the new numbers — revenue was 6.4 percent lower than expected in July — concerned him because of the "excessive" tax cuts passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature that "left us without much of a margin for error." But the tax cuts amounted to only $650 million over the next two years, just 1.4% of a $45.5 billion budget. Republicans pointed out that...

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The DFL’s “Young Learners” Marching to Pre-School This Fall

Children of all ages need to play and get lots of rest. Nursery school-age children, even at-risk kids who may need our special care and support, do not belong institutional settings like schools, nor do they need to learn a whole more than the fact that learning is really fun. Make ideas, colors, numbers and shapes available at home, nursery programs or child care....

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Met Council Poker Game: buying train cars and condemning land for SWLRT

“In the Council’s mind, it’s like a high-stakes poker game. The Council is betting that by spending hundreds of millions of dollars, they can pressure Congress and the FTA into approving the projects. They talk as if it is a done deal, as if big talk and spending will make it so. But the federal grant program doesn't work that way.” Anoka County Commissioner Matt Look ...

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Met Council votes to increase transit fares by 25 cents. Why now?

So why did the Council step up and make a reasonable rate increase now? Answer: They are flying out to DC to lobby Congress and the FTA/DOT on a regular basis trying to secure full funding grants for LRT expansion: Southwest LRT and Bottineau. But the Met Council, and its friends on the Hennepin and Ramsey County boards (Peter McLaughlin, et. al.) have NOT secured federal funding. ...

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Hear Denisha Merriweather’s Story: Why school choice is still the best answer to Minnesota’s achievement gap

Meet Denisha Merriweather from Jacksonville, Florida. She failed third grade twice, and got into all kinds of trouble. But she caught a break: she moved in with her Godmother who found a school that figured out how to reach her. Denisha says School Choice saved her life. Why don’t Minnesota kids have the same opportunity as Florida kids? ...

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Governor Dayton’s Attempt to De-Fund the GOP Legislature: Troubling Tactics, Apocalyptic Prose and Fake Federalism

The governor of Minnesota has attempted to de-fund the state legislature, an equal branch of the government. Like a critical parent, Dayton dressed down GOP leaders in a dramatic letter, punctuated with emotional, apocalyptic language. ...

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Will Governor Dayton Sign or Veto Omnibus Bills Today?

The special legislative session wrapped up before dawn last Friday with a flurry of bills on their way to Gov. Dayton; K-12 Education, Transportation, Health and Human Services, Taxes, among others. Gov. Dayton, negotiating hard, got a lot of what he asked for from the Legislature. If he vetoes the Omnibus bills, he will be vetoing his own credibility, such as it is. ...

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Legislature’s Special Session Wrap-Up: Estate Tax, Healthcare & More

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Legislature ended its special session early Friday morning. Here's the rest of what was decided. Minnesotans On the Move How to keep Minnesotans from exiting the state for good, or severing all financial ties with the state after establishing residency elsewhere? Estate tax: The death tax was not repealed but the threshold will be gradually increased from the current $1.8 million to $3 million by 2020. The federal level is $5.49 million per person. Dayton's Department of Revenue has gained a reputation for being aggressive with Minnesotans who declare residency elsewhere (the state tries to claw them...

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