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Legislative Session: Let's Get To Work

Category: Guns
Posted: 01/07/13 23:47

by Dave Mindeman

Some random thoughts about the legislative session.

The Democratic majority needs to move forward quickly with a plan that should already be in place on the budget. Republicans will move out of the picture quickly because they will insist, once more and for the millionth time, on no new revenues. A more rational argument right now would be, not what taxes to not utilize, but what kind of new revenues can fix our structural budget deficit.

The bolder the plan the more intense will be the push back. This time, I would hope that the Democratic majority will resist their inherent tendency to back off. A bold tax plan may receive the most criticism but if rationally argued, it can be the most successful. We need this now....and once the public gets the idea that this is fixing the school shifts, and the contant deficits, they will warm to this solution.

But don't stop with the budget. Move forward in other areas. There is a multiple front rationale to all of this. So many things have been neglected in state government because of the Republican desire to stagnate government. Forward momentum is the Democratic friend in this regard. And the GOP will be kept busy trying to block momentum in multiple areas.

This legislature can move on gay marriage. It can move K-12. It can move on getting the U of M house in order. It can move on property taxes. It can move on early voting. And it can move on a constructive bonding bill.

One good thing about Zygi's big push last session is that we probably won't have to deal with any sports related issues this session. That clears out a lot of high powered lobbying and allows us to concentrate on the people in need.

This session has got to be about making Minnesota a progressive minded state once more.

As Ed Schultz says it....Let's get to work.

comments (2) permalink
01/09/13 22:56
California passed Proposition 39 this year.


Very briefly, it changes the way multi-state corporations pay state tax allocated based on property, payroll, sales. They have gone to a straight sales formula. If you sell into CA, you pay tax in CA. The ?pitch? to voters was that out-of-state corporations were rewarded by bringing their property and payroll elsewhere. By locating the plant outside CA, it was argued, that companies could avoid CA tax thus encouraging jobs leaving the state.

HELLO! Is anybody listening?

MN has a very long history of using the tri-ratio weighted 70% sales, 15% property, 15% payroll. They finally heard my voice and altered the equation over 8 years. Eight years! For 2012, the weighting is now 93% Sales, 3.5% Property, and 3.5% Payroll. While I believe the Unitary Apportionment method, instituted by Rudy Perpich, is the real tax policy culprit to jobs leaving, the state continues with the ancient formula rewarding companies choosing to produce elsewhere. Although I have no data to support a change in revenue because of it, the current apportionment continues to drive jobs from the state. California fixed it. The voters had to do it.

The fact remains that current policy rewards multi-state corporations to locate their business elsewhere.

Three factor formula in MN:
See page 3 of form M4A

01/08/13 09:16
If Democrats are going to move on anything they need a united front with the base lending a strong voice to the legislative agenda. Such an agenda cannot be crowded out by things other than the budget, period.

That means that nothing else can be on the agenda of the base who really needs to be singing their support loudly. Do you all really think that the forces of opposition aren't going to take advantage of any other agenda item and seek to dilute the needed voices of support of fixing the structural budget deficts? Add other agenda items and those voices will be busy pushing their own special interest agendas.

The moronic DFL platform suffers from the same problem - - including everything means to highlight everything and accomplish absolutely nothing. The same with the DFL special interest subcaucuses. It splits the party's focus and efforts to create a saleable agenda by a unified and thus effective coalition.

There should be a push by the base to dominate the media with letters, events, stories that are strictly focused on state revenue, budget and economic growth facts and solutions, period.

Why aren't the DFL, legislative leaders and the base taking advantage of the facts that Republicans always always get wrong? Or did you all miss the news about large companies moving out of state into higher tax regions of the country? Where are the letters to the editor?

Where are the en mass calls to reporters and editorial boards challenging them to focus on the facts and the pile of B.S. Republicans have been trying to sell the public for the last 30 years about lower taxes resulting in more jobs? The DFL base should be a coalition of mythbusters to support the upcoming legislative session.

Got a message you want to sell? Repeat, repeat, repeat and repeat again.

Admittedly, the legislative leadership would do well to add a few more layers of brass to their respective pairs and create a lean, mean and unified communication machine. However, they cannot sell the needed changes without the backing of a strong chorus behind them. So the budget should be the only agenda item, period.

I've never been a fan of commissions or task forces because they always seem to be a way of deep sixing important issues. On the other hand, there are some issues that are complex enough to need a diverse group of study to make recommendations for real solutions to avoid bad laws. Such commisions or task forces can also serve to communicate and sell their ideas directly to the people before they receive the full force of lobbying pressure at the capital.

So creating such commissions or task forces is one thing the legislature should do in the case finding solutions to gun violence, mental health and to fully and finally fix our family law problems associated with dissolution, procreation, child custody, adoption simultaneously with broadening marriage rights.

The same thing with higher education and k-12. Quite frankly, we suck. There are too many problems with higher ed and k-12 to tackle in a legislative session without looking at them all and coming up with real long term solutions.

Any and all task forces or commissions should include the adversaries with all points of view. Only then will the best solutions be found. The recommendations coming out of the task forces should set the leadership's agenda for the next legislative session. Between the recommendations and the next legislative session there should be enough time for communication, advocacy and debate in the public square. That is what democracy should look like.

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