Forum editorial: At least, get a few things done
With less than a week remaining in the Minnesota legislative session, the list of what has not been accomplished is long. Time is short, and the attitude among Republican leaders of the House is unhelpful, but several items on the agenda are important to outstate Minnesota. They should get done. Here's a short list of eminently doable legislation.
• Restore Local Government Aid to its 2002 level. Local governments, including Moorhead and other area cities, struggle to keep property tax levies low, and LGA is vital to that goal. LGA should be included in the omnibus tax bill.
• A transportation bill that funds corridors of commerce and street aid is imperative for rural Minnesota cities and counties.
• The bonding bill should include clean-water funds for rural water and sewer projects. Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate leadership support $167 million, and there is bipartisan support in both chambers. Expensive water and sewer plants are about real needs, not wants. Important to rural communities, the bonding bill should be regionally balanced to include obvious urban needs, and outstate needs, such as the rail underpass project in Moorhead.
It seems more and more likely that agreement on a transportation bill is out of reach for this session. Disagreements over how to fund it—including a gasoline tax option—aren't going away. That being the reality, the Legislature and governor should complete a tax bill and a bonding bill that includes priorities in rural Minnesota.
The Legislature dawdled and delayed so that now there is not enough time to deal with all sorts of issues important to Minnesotans. But a short list—tax bill and bonding bill—can be done if legislative leadership quits the posturing and focuses on the state's neglected needs.
Editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board