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This article provides some interesting insights into the Minnesota Supreme Court’s line-item ruling. It’s worth reading just for the plethora of quotes from lawmakers. One of the more interesting quotes was from former Speaker and former House Minority Leader Paul Thissen.

Rep. Thissen’s habit of never missing an opportunity to miss a golden opportunity is fun to watch. According to the article, “Echoing that point, former House Speaker Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, called for transparent mediation. ‘We work for Minnesotans, and they deserve a process that is open to the public,’ Thissen said. ‘They deserve to know who is in the room, and they have the right to know what is being said.'”

Let’s dissect that quote. First, Rep. Thissen is right that the legislature works for the people. Rep. Thissen didn’t do that. In 2013, in payback to their public employee union special interests, the DFL passed a bill that Gov. Dayton signed that gave SEIU and AFSCME the right to organize in-home child care providers. The thing is that those in-home child care providers, led by Hollee Saville, showed up en masse at the Capitol that day. They lobbied against the bill. They told DFL legislators that they didn’t want to be part of a union. The DFL ignored them.

As I said, the bill passed. Then it was signed into law. When the organizing vote happened, the people that the DFL supposedly work for rejected the union by a vote of 1,014-392. Over 72% of voters rejected unionization. This wasn’t a nail-biter. It was more like Reagan vs. Mondale in 1984, Nixon vs. McGovern in 1972 or LBJ vs. Goldwater in 1964.

Q: Why didn’t then-Speaker Thissen listen to the people instead of the special interests?

Another part of the quote has Rep. Thissen saying “They deserve to know who is in the room, and they have the right to know what is being said.” I don’t remember then-Speaker Thissen insisting that negotiations between him, Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton be transparent. In fact, what we got from the DFL leadership was a statement saying that they’d agreed to raise taxes after negotiations had theoretically concluded. They we found out that one of those DFL leaders didn’t like the tax bill. That led to further negotiations and another statement.

At no point in 2013 did then-Speaker Thissen insist on transparent negotiations.

Watch this speech from Rep. Thissen:

In the speech, Rep. Thissen accuses Republicans of raising property taxes. That’s a lie. Republicans don’t propose raising taxes. That’s what the DFL did in 2013-14. During those years, property taxes in Princeton and St. Cloud skyrocketed.

Rep. Thissen talks a great game. Rep. Thissen’s problem is that his actions don’t match his statements. That’s why he’s one of the least-liked legislators in Minnesota. (If you don’t believe me, ask the GOP staffers Thissen attacked.)

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If there’s anything certain in life, the saying goes, it’s death and taxes. In St. Cloud, we can apparently add Dan Wolgamott running for political office as a certainty. According to this article, Wolgamott, who has run for Tama Theis’s house seat in HD-14A in 2014, then ran for the open senate seat vacated when John Pederson retired, is now interested in Jim Knoblach’s seat.

Wolgamott issued a statement announcing his candidacy, saying “Career politician Jim Knoblach currently represents the district and is serving his eighth term (15th year) in the state House. Under Knoblach’s watch, the Legislature has failed to get its work done on time for six of those years, each time resulting in a costly special session.”

The perpetual campaigner is denouncing career politicians. That’s rich. Here’s what you need to know about Wolgamott. First, he’s a Democrat first. His constituents come second. He said as much a few years ago when he wrote an op-ed, saying that he’d vote to raise the gas tax if that’s what his caucus approved. Next, Wolgamott’s talk about bringing people together is just that — talk. I don’t doubt that Wolgamott brings Democrats together. I’m totally skeptical, though, that he’d lift a finger to bring Republicans and Democrats together.

I don’t have to speculate whether Jim Knoblach would bring Republicans and Democrats together. I have verifiable proof that he’s frequently brought Republicans and Democrats together. The most recent example that I wrote about was in 2015, when he was part of Speaker Daudt’s budget team that put together a bipartisan budget agreement with then-Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. Of course, Gov. Dayton and other high-profile liberals sabotaged the agreement.

The good news is that Chairman Knoblach persevered, which led to the Daudt-Bakk budget eventually passing during a special session. There’s no reason to think that Wolgamott would stand up to the DFL leadership. He’s a hardline progressive that would’ve voted to create MNsure.

Finally, here’s another part of Wolgamott’s statement getting into yet another race:

Status-quo politicians like Jim Knoblach continue to stack the deck against hard-working, middle-class Minnesotans, prioritizing wealthy donors and corporate special interests instead of working families.

Wolgamott is as cookie-cutter as they come. There’s nothing that says he’d be a leader. If you went to the dictionary for the definition of a career politician, here’s what you’d find:

The real reason behind Gov. Dayton’s guest column doesn’t get mentioned until deep in his article. That’s when Gov. Dayton starts pining for ‘the good old days’ of all-DFL rule. That’s when Gov. Dayton and the DFL destroyed Minnesota’s health care system. That’s when Gov. Dayton and the DFL raised taxes on small businesses and farmers one year, then repealed those taxes the next year after they’d gotten an earful from constituents.

In his article, Gov. Dayton wrote “A divided House and Senate could not agree on a bonding bill, which left unfunded very important improvements in state colleges and universities, parks and trails, and water quality all over Minnesota. There was also no agreement on the urgently needed transportation investments to repair and improve our state’s highways, roads, bridges and public transit.”

Actually, DFL senators killed the bonding bill because they insisted on funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. I wrote frequently that the SWLRT project doesn’t have a change of getting built for at least 5 more years. In other words, the DFL killed massive investments in Minnesota’s highways because they didn’t get the funding for a project they refused to fund in their $1,800,000,000 bonding bill. The problem wasn’t the House GOP. It was the Senate DFL.

If Minnesotans want things done right, throw out the DFL majority in the Senate and watch positive things happen. Watch them tackle the MNsure/ACA crisis. They won’t just apply a temporary Band-Aid to the problem. They’ll actually fix the things that are broken within the ACA.

Giving Gov. Dayton a blank check in the legislature gave us major tax increases, the MNsure disaster, the $90,000,000 Senate Office Building for fat-cat DFL politicians and obscene pay raises for incompetent commissioners. If that isn’t enough, the all-DFL legislature passed legislation that would allow for the organizing of in-home child care providers in the AFSCME union over the objections of in-home child care providers.

That organizing vote showed that the DFL didn’t listen to the people. That organizing vote showed that they listened to their special interest masters. In-home child care providers rejected unionization by a vote of 1,014-392.

I’ve laid out the proof that the DFL doesn’t listen to the people. I’ve laid out proof that they do what their special interest puppetmasters tell them to do. Going back to DFL rule would bring more disasters to Minnesotans.

No thanks!

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If anyone knows the definition of opportunity costs, it’s economists and accountants. Opportunity costs are defined as “the money or other benefits lost when pursuing a particular course of action instead of a mutually-exclusive alternative.” The opportunity costs of MNsure and the ACA, aka Obamacare, are staggering compared with what we could’ve had had Democrats not shut Republicans out of the process.

Whether we’re talking about MNsure’s skyrocketing health insurance premiums or the ACA’s unaffordable deductibles or the shrinking networks of MNsure and the ACA, the opportunity costs are disgusting when compared with the system Minnesotans established years ago. The federal government should’ve moved in Minnesota’s direction. Minnesota shouldn’t have moved in President Obama’s direction. The truth is that Minnesota’s system wasn’t broken. DFL politicians like Gov. Dayton, Sen. Franken, Sen. Klobuchar, then-House Speaker Thissen, State Sen. Bakk and Sen. Lourey treated it like it was dysfunctional.

Too often, the system currently in place is expensive. Prior to the ACA, and directly thanks to Minnesota’s high-risk pool, known as MCHA, aka the Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association, 93% of Minnesotans were insured. Further, Minnesota’s premiums were some of the lowest premiums in the nation. Finally, it’s noteworthy that half of the people who weren’t insured were eligible for taxpayer-subsidized health insurance. Had those people bought insurance, Minnesota’s uninsured rate would’ve been 3.6% in 2007.

Instead, Gov. Dayton and the DFL became cheerleaders for the ACA, implementing it in 2013. Since then, health insurance premiums have skyrocketed, deductibles have went from being a little high to being prohibitively expensive. At this point, these deductibles make insurance too expensive to use. The system created by President Obama, Gov. Dayton, Sen. Klobuchar, Sen. Franken, State Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen is nearing a financial meltdown. Because of this crisis, Gov. Dayton has issued a proposal that’s designed to win votes, not solve the health care crisis he helped create. Here’s part of his fact sheet:

Why Provide Rebates for Healthcare Premiums?

  1. Any Minnesotan purchasing coverage on the individual market should first go to MNsure to confirm whether they are eligible for federal tax credits
  2. There are 123,000 Minnesotans expected to purchase health coverage on the individual market in 2017, who are not eligible for federal tax credits because of their income
  3. These individuals and families are unfairly shouldering the burden of the health insurers’ 50 percent to 66 percent premium increases in 2017

That’s insulting. These individuals are unfairly shouldering the burden that politicians created. The politicians created a system that was unsustainable. Republicans frequently predicted this outcome. Democrats frequently insisted that Republicans didn’t know what they were talking about. In this instance, reality won. The Republicans’ predictions were right.

What idiot couldn’t predict that young healthy people making modest incomes wouldn’t purchase expensive health insurance policies? It’s the cost-effective decision to make. What idiot couldn’t predict that people with pre-existing conditions wouldn’t be the first to buy health insurance?

Another statement on Gov. Dayton’s fact sheet says “Overall, the Governor’s rebate reduces the 2017 rate increases from an average 55 percent increase to a 16 percent increase.” Later in the fact sheet, it says “he one-time 25 percent health insurance premium rebate would be financed with the approximately $313 million which is scheduled to be added to the existing $1.9 billion Budget Reserves this December.” In other words, President Obama, Gov. Dayton, Sen. Franken, Sen. Klobuchar, State Sen. Bakk and Rep. Thissen demolished a health care system that was working but Minnesotans are paying high taxes to pay for the DFL’s disaster.

What’s worse is that Gov. Dayton’s plan doesn’t fix anything. It’s a stop-gap measure that won’t fix all the things that are wrong with the ACA. Only Chairman Davids’ plan does that.

The DFL doesn’t fix problems. It only creates them, then complains when Republicans don’t help them fix the messes the DFL created. A vote for a DFL legislator is a vote for more problems. A vote for a Republican legislator is a vote for solving problems or a vote for getting it right the first time. The choice is simple.

The politics surrounding the MNsure crisis took a bizarre turn yesterday when a politician stated that “It’s a real breakdown in the functioning of the Affordable Care Act”, then said “I take it very, very seriously. And I deplore it.” That politician wasn’t Speaker Daudt, though Daudt had some harsh words to say about MNsure.

The politician who said that the ACA was breaking down and that the letdown was deplorable was Gov. Dayton. Of course, Gov. Dayton didn’t propose a plan to fix the MNsure crisis. He left that responsibility to legislators. Whether he likes it or not, Gov. Dayton’s responsibility is that of being Minnesota’s CEO.

Thus far, Gov. Dayton hasn’t shown any leadership during this crisis. The good news is that Republicans, especially Speaker Daudt and Rep. Greg Davids, are trying to solve Minnesota’s health insurance crisis. Rep. Davids, the chair of the House Taxes Committee, pictured below, just updated Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk, Sen. Hann, Speaker Daudt and Rep. Paul Thissen on what he’s working on.

In Chairman Davids’ letter, he outlined his priorities rather succinctly, saying “We need fixes that will lower costs, help Minnesotans keep their doctors, and increase their choices.” Then he wrote this:

Lower Costs

Create an immediate tax credit that applies to Minnesotans who purchase health insurance both on and off the MNsure exchange that has eligibility beyond current federal subsidies to buy down premium costs. If even one Minnesotan can keep their doctor or find an affordable alternative, Governor Dayton should put the full force of his administration behind lobbying the federal government to allow access to credits off the exchange.

Amen to that, Chairman Davids. Finding solutions that let families keep their doctors and plans must be part of the long-term fix. Anything less is selling families short.

Then there’s this:

Keep Doctors

Create a tax credit to reduce out of-network-costs that arise from seeking care from a long-time primary care physician. Minnesotans were promised that if they liked their doctor they could keep their doctor, but too many are losing their long-time doctors due to narrow networks. Continuity of care needs to be addressed to ensure that we do not lose sight of the importance of actual health care when we look at the problems with health insurance coverage.

The ACA guarantees the right to buy insurance. Unfortunately, the accompanying high deductibles make health care unaffordable for too many families. Forcing families to buy insurance that they can’t afford to use is immoral. It shouldn’t be tolerated. If the DFL insists on tinkering around the edges of this failing system, Republicans in St. Paul and DC should remind the state and the nation that Republicans fought for solutions while Democrats fought for salvaging a failed ideology.

More Choices

Allow Minnesotans to purchase non-qualified health plans (QHPs), and seek a federal waiver to waive tax penalties for those who purchase a non-QHP insurance plan. If the federal government will not approve the waiver, Minnesota should provide a rebate to cover the cost of the non-QHP penalty.

A to the men, Chairman Davids. It’s time to tell the federal government that their plan is a total failure and that it’s time to do the right thing by American families. Once Minnesota’s system, which will be implemented thanks to Republican leadership, starts lowering costs and providing families more choice, the rest of the nation will copy Minnesota’s model.

Thus far, Gov. Dayton’s efforts have been halfhearted. It’s heartwarming to see Republicans like Speaker Daudt and Chairman Davids providing leadership in solving Minnesota’s health insurance and health care crises. It’s disheartening to see Gov. Dayton and the DFL essentially sitting on the sidelines and proposing tinker-around-the-edges non-solutions.

UPDATE: This is a copy of Chairman Davids’ letter:

Rep. Davids letter to Governor Dayton and Legislative Leaders by Minnesota House Republicans on Scribd

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This afternoon, I shared this article with some friends via email. One of the people responding said that this was a first for Gov. Dayton, adding that it’s the first time Gov. Dayton had made Minnesota better.

What my friend was referring to was Gov. Dayton’s now-infamous statement that the Affordable Care Act wasn’t affordable anymore. My friend said that Gov. Dayton was making Minnesota better by increasing the odds that Republicans will have majorities in the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate when the dust settles. Larry Jacobs, the Walter F. Mondale Chair for Political Studies at the University of Minnesota, put it perfectly, saying “Gov. Dayton hit a hole-in-one for the other team.”

It’s obvious that this is hurting DFL campaigns because of the plethora of Republican ads featuring Gov. Dayton making his now-infamous statement. It’s noteworthy that Gov. Dayton isn’t anywhere in the DFL’s ads. One DFL politician who isn’t happy is Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, who said “I ask members: What are you hearing about when you’re knocking on doors, talking to people? It was clear to me that we are hearing from too many Minnesotans that this is just too big a burden on them.”

Rep. Greg Preston, the co-chair of MNsure’s Legislative Oversight Committee, hit Gov. Dayton hard in this op-ed:

The Governor claims he needs total DFL control of the legislature to fix health care in Minnesota. Let’s review what happened last time Governor Dayton had a blank check to implement his agenda. According to news reports at the time, “No state [was] set to embrace the Affordable Care Act as thoroughly as Minnesota.”
 
Governor Dayton and his DFL allies in the legislature raised taxes on health care to pay for the disastrous $400 million MNsure website. Democrats gave MNsure special exemptions to financial oversight and IT procurement laws, and blocked health care experts from serving on the board. The legislature even allowed bonuses for MNsure executives while the website was melting down and Minnesotans were suffering. MNsure was forced through without a single Republican vote, and nearly all Republican amendments and concerns were ignored.

My definition of insanity is hiring the people who demolished a system that was working to fix the thing that they demolished in the first place. It’s also the definition of stupidity.

Gov. Dayton and the DFL created this crisis. Thus far, they’ve only proposed a temporary fix to rising premiums. What the DFL hasn’t proposed is something to fix the structural problems of the ACA. It’s one thing to “set aside politics”, as Gov. Dayton proposed in this video, to pass that temporary fix:

It’s doubtful that the DFL will set aside their partisanship to actually fix the structural deficiencies with the ACA. The DFL wants to implement a single-payer health care system rather than fixing the crisis facing families.

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Sen. Bakk stabbed Gov. Dayton in the back again, this time disagreeing with Gov. Dayton’s statement about the Affordable Care Act not being affordable. Gov. Dayton’s statement was “I’m not trying to pass the buck here but the reality is that the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable for an increasing number of people. We’re going to need both state and federal governments to step in and do what they need to do to remedy these problems.”

When asked if he agrees with Gov. Dayton’s statement, Sen. Bakk said that he disagreed, saying “No,” Bakk said when asked if he agreed, then continued “It’s 5 percent of the marketplace. We’ve got some problems in the individual market for people that can’t access the federal tax credit, for people over 400 percent of the poverty line. That’s the cohort where we have a problem. For 95 percent of people and for the people that are able to access the tax credits in the exchange, you know, I think this system is working.”

Essentially, the argument that Sen. Bakk is making is like a carpenter’s argument that the roof is waterproof except for the big hole in it. Saying that 250,000 people who are either getting gigantic premium increases or who can’t afford to buy health insurance isn’t a problem is what a heartless SOB might say in a difficult political situation right before an election. I’d triple-dog dare Sen. Bakk to tell these people that they don’t have a problem.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan famously said that “a recession is when your neighbor is unemployed” and that “a depression is when you’re unemployed”, then finishing by saying “the recovery starts when Jimmy Carter is unemployed.” Applying President Reagan’s principles to this situation is helpful. The Obamacare/individual market problem will get fixed when Sen. Bakk is no longer the Senate Majority Leader. The DFL has spent the last 3 years bragging up the ACA, accusing Republicans who said it wasn’t working well that they were employing political gamesmanship.

With huge premium increases in the individual market and unaffordable deductibles, the DFL’s chickens are coming home to roost. Contrary to Sen. Bakk’s statement, this is a crisis. Gov. Dayton admitted as much in this video:

Of course, Gov. Dayton has reversed course since then, now insisting “‘Hundred of thousands of Minnesotans’ will NOT see actual health insurance increases of 50% or more, because many people, who buy their policies through MNsure, will receive federal tax credits that will significantly lower their costs.”

Which is it, Gov. Dayton? What changed from the time you said that the ACA wasn’t affordable “for an increasing number of people” to the time you wrote that dishonest op-ed? Did you suddenly start thinking that it’s affordable? Did you get pressured by DFL candidates who said that they lost support right after you made that statement? Or are you just that dishonest?

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This article highlights how screwed up the ACA is. First, it’s noteworthy because it’s written by a lefty. Next, it’s noteworthy because the author admits that it’s messed up. It’s impossible to miss Marshall Helmberger’s disgust with the ACA, especially when he says “The el-cheapo UCare bronze plan that my wife Jodi and I bought for 2016 went from $657 a month to $1,221 a month, or $14,652 a year. And that is for an insurance plan with a $13,900 deductible, which means we would need to spend $28,552 before we would see any actual benefit from our insurance, beyond a free wellness visit or two.”

That isn’t affordable. That’s outrageous pricing. What’s worst is that the person is technically insured but this couple can’t afford to use it to get health care. What good is health insurance if you can’t use it?

Helmberger’s disgust with the ACA boiled over again when he said “Now, one of the principles of the Affordable Care Act was supposed to be affordability, as you might have guessed. In theory, you were supposed to be able to buy a silver-level plan for about ten percent of your annual income, which to most people would be considered affordable. But the theory isn’t met by reality these days. If you assume a fairly typical household income of $65,000 for two middle-aged (age 55) adults in Minnesota, you would qualify for no subsidy whatsoever under MNsure. At the same time, the cheapest silver plan you can buy in St. Louis County for next year has a monthly premium of $1,477 a month, or $17,724 a year, which would entail 27-percent of that same household’s income. Add in the thousands of dollars in deductibles and co-pays that this same couple would need to cover if they actually utilized any medical services and it easily pushes the actual cost of such a plan to one-third of their household income. That’s not affordable—it’s soul-crushing, and it would prompt most healthy people to abandon their insurance and pay the fine for going uninsured.”

We didn’t experience these type of outrageous premiums when Minnesota’s high-risk pool was in effect. Why didn’t DFL legislators keep that system in place? The DFL, starting with Gov. Dayton, Sen. Bakk and then-Speaker Thissen, had the opportunity to display leadership. Instead, they showed they were President Obama’s puppets. Thanks to their unwillingness to lead, Minnesotans are hurting more and more each day.

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It isn’t a secret that I don’t like Paul Thissen. I find him to be a man of little character but 2 faces. He’s also a political hack. This post will highlight Rep. Thissen’s character flaws. This post will highlight what he’s done recently in private vs. what he’s said publicly.

This post will highlight some of the behind-the-scenes things that caused Gov. Dayton to announce that there won’t be a special session this fall. This article’s quotes of Speaker Daudt highlight Rep. Thissen’s lack of integrity. For instance, Speaker Daudt said “I’m particularly disappointed that Minority Leader Thissen refused to meet two days ago, and refused to even provide his availability to schedule a meeting with Governor Dayton and legislative leaders.” It’s impossible to negotiate with someone who won’t even schedule a negotiating session.

Rep. Thissen sang a different tune in this article, though:

Thissen, a DFLer from Minneapolis, said it was “House Republicans that didn’t really want to get a special session done. This Legislature proved it can’t function. I think they proved that back in May,” Thissen said. “I don’t think we gain anything (politically) by not getting a special session.”

What this past session proved is that the legislature doesn’t function properly if the Minority Leader is frequently attempting to sabotage good-faith attempts to accomplish things. Rep. Thissen fit that role perfectly.

Rep. Thissen has a history of not working well with others. This past May, 7 Republicans wrote a letter to Rep. Thissen. One of the things they said was “Throughout this session, we have witnessed a disturbing pattern of verbal abuse of Republican Staff by you on the floor of the House of Representatives.” A day later, Rep. Thissen apologized, which I wrote about in this post.

Shortly after becoming Speaker in 2015, Speaker Daudt negotiated an agreement between Sen. Bakk and Gov. Dayton. At the time, Gov. Dayton said “I’m confronted with two hostile bodies of the Legislature, one with a leader I believe I can trust (Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt) and one I know I can’t trust.” That’s something that the Twin Cities media praised Speaker Daudt for.

In May, 2015, Speaker Daudt and Sen. Bakk worked out a bipartisan budget agreement in an afternoon after spending the entire last full week of the session negotiating with Gov. Dayton. Despite all that proof that Speaker Daudt is a tough, fair negotiator, Rep. Thissen wants us to believe that Speaker Daudt isn’t interested in making a deal.

Still, we’re supposed to believe Rep. Thissen when he says that Speaker Daudt didn’t want to negotiate in good faith to get a bonding bill and a tax relief bill signed? Why should we trust Rep. Thissen considering all the scandalous things he’s done?

I’ll trust Speaker Daudt because he’s got a lengthy history of negotiating in good faith. I won’t trust Rep. Thissen because he’s got a lengthy history of undermining good faith negotiations for purely partisan reasons.

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DFL senators killed the House bonding bill in mid-May by insisting that the bill include funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. In June, Gov. Dayton killed middle class tax relief with a pocket veto. In July, Gov. Dayton refused to call a special session in House Republicans didn’t include funding for the Southwest Light Rail project. (Sounds like a broken record, doesn’t it?) In August, after the Met Council, CTIB and Hennepin County provided the local funding for the Southwest Light Rail project, Gov. Dayton hinted that he was open to a special session again.

Friday, Gov. Dayton sent a letter to Speaker Daudt saying that “he had ‘reluctantly concluded that the time for agreement on a Special Session has expired.'” It expired because Gov. Dayton didn’t get everything he wanted in the bill. Republicans insisted that specific highway projects be included in the bonding bill, including the Highway 14 project. Speaker Daudt addressed that, saying “House Republicans have initiated every meeting and discussion over the past two months to pass tax relief and funding for critical infrastructure projects like Highway 23, Highway 14, and countless others throughout the state.”

In the end, Gov. Dayton said that wasn’t enough:

But the infrastructure bill was more troublesome. Lawmakers solved the money issue — Dayton’s demands that Republicans add new funding for his priorities, including upgrades at the state’s psychiatric hospital in St. Peter. But a process issue proved intractable. Dayton objected on principle to the infrastructure bill’s earmarking of money for specific projects, and was backed up in this by a letter signed by a bipartisan range of current and former chairs of the Legislature’s transportation committees. Many lawmakers like earmarking because it lets them guarantee funding for key projects in their home districts. House leaders agreed to a compromise that would give the Department of Transportation more flexibility instead of dictating every project, but Dayton’s letter said that “remains unacceptable.”

Gov. Dayton is pretending like MnDOT ultimately decides what projects get done. That’s fiction. It’s indisputable that MnDOT has a say in which projects get done. The Met Council, CTIB and port authorities all have a say in it, too.

The first time that Gov. Dayton and the DFL rejected the special session, Gov. Dayton and the DFL said no because they put a higher priority on funding the SWLRT project than they put on providing middle class tax relief. The final time that Gov. Dayton and the DFL rejected the terms for a special session, they rejected it because they didn’t get to control who picked the highway improvement projects. The reality is that farmers, veterans, students and small businesses didn’t get tax relief because Gov. Dayton and the DFL didn’t put a high priority on it. Gov. Dayton and the DFL put a higher priority on a project that the vast majority of Minnesotans will never use. Then Gov. Dayton and the DFL said no to tax relief because they didn’t get to pick their transportation projects.

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