abc
QUICK LINKS:

GOP Leaders Recap Session, Criticize DFL Spending in Minn. Tour

Updated: 05/19/2014 9:00 PM
Created: 05/19/2014 8:47 PM WDIO.com
By: Alan Hoglund
ahoglund@wdio.com

Another legislative session is in the books for Minnesota lawmakers, and that means a shifting focus to the election this fall.

Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and all 134 members of the House of Representatives are up for re-election. That has Republicans pushing to take at least some control back at the Capitol.

Republican leadership toured the state Monday, making six stops. The fifth was at Monaco Air in Duluth. The 30-minute news conference focused mostly on spending choices made by DFL'ers over the last two years.

Republicans said tax increases and higher spending is jeopardizing job creation. In a news release, the MN House GOP said "according to Minnesota Management and Budget, under the Democrats' budget there have been three consecutive monthly updates where revenue has fallen short of forecasted amounts."

According to Senate Minority Leader David Hann, "our growth is pretty anemic. We need to have a stronger recovery before we start spending every dime we can get our hands on."

Responding in a later interview, Sen. Roger Reinert, DFL-Duluth, said "Minnesotans like a high quality of life. They have a high expectation and level of services, and those things cost money."

Lawmakers learned in February that the state had a $1.2 billion budget surplus. Hann has called it a sign that Minnesotans were taxed too much.

According to Reinert, "hindsight is 20/20. It's easy to make that argument now but one year ago we had to balance a budget...the economy is better; the revenue is exceeding projections. We took a responsible approach. Half went back to taxpayers. The other half went into the state's budget reserve."

Reinert described the session as "intense." He said lawmakers got a lot done in a shorter than normal time - around two months. He pointed to millions of dollars in bonding for the Northland, and the minimum wage increase, as some of the most important accomplishments this year.

Reinert said "honestly, I've never come home from a session and have as many people say 'thank you, you guys did a really good job.'"

Now that it's over, the focus turns to November. GOP leadership is optimistic. "If Democrats make it through this election cycle in complete control, which we don't think they will, katy bar the doors," House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said.

While northeastern Minnesota is almost exclusively DFL, Republicans tell us they think they're making progress on the Iron Range.

Minnesota GOP leadership stops at Monaco Air in Duluth following the end of the 2014 Legislative Session

Front Page

  • Body Cameras Aim to Hold Duluth Police, Community Members Accountable

    Duluth is on the forefront of a nationwide movement toward the use of body cameras. Now after five months of using the technology, Duluth Police and community members alike say they are both helpful — and have some hiccups.

  • Sawyer Co. Homicide Charge Dropped

    Prosecutors have dropped a homicide charge against a man in the death of his wife at a Sawyer County cabin after further investigation yielded more evidence.  The charge against Cade G. Clark, 26, was dropped during a hearing on Wednesday.

  • Supporters Hold Rally for UMD Coaches

    Supporters for Shannon Miller and the rest of the UMD women's hockey staff rallied on campus Wednesday morning. This comes in reaction to Monday's announcement of UMD deciding not to extend the coaches' contracts. 

  • Local Moviegoers Weigh In on 'The Interview' Cancellation

    After a cyber attack against a major Hollywood studio, the screening of the controversial comedy "The Interview" has been canceled at theaters across the United States including locally at Duluth 10. Sony's decision to cancel the film's release comes after hackers broke into the company's computer system and threatened to attack U.S. theaters.

  • Final IRRRB Meeting for Outgoing Commissioner Tony Sertich

    IRRRB Commissioner Tony Sertich says farewell at his final meeting, which was quite a busy one.

 
Advertisement