The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

Editorials

July 7, 2013

Join interests to gain power

WHY IT MATTERS: While other parts of the state receive the largesse of the Legislature, our region continues to lose out due to lack of collaboration

Winning is in the eye of the beholder.

The 2012-13 Minnesota legislative session was seen by many observers as a marquee session for Democrats. They achieved their promised increase in taxes on the upper income, paid back the school shift debt, increased spending on education, found bipartisan support for Local Government Aid formula, enacted same sex marriage legislation and balanced the budget.

However, for all the wins, Sen. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato, said a personal failure for her was the inability to form a coalition of rural legislators to push through a bonding bill.

DFL Rep. Alice Hausman crafted an $800 million bonding bill with seeming bipartisan support that fell apart in the final hours of the session by five votes. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk was able to slip in a smaller proposal to fund the Capitol remodeling that quickly was loaded with special projects to attract certain Republican votes but missing Hausman’s bonding for higher education and house projects.

What also failed in the final stretch was bonding for the St. Peter Treatment Center and the Mankato civic center expansion, a project where this region just seems to continually be on the losing end.

Sheran told a regional gathering for a legislative roundup recently that while there were some laudable successes, “it was really disappointing” to lose yet again on the bonding issue. And she cites the lack of a strong regional coalition that holds together to present its case. “We want a coalition that is not caucus led or economic interest led. We need to build this interactive coalition of all north, south and metro area and getting to the size and content that survives a 60 percent majority."

Toward the end of the session, all eyes were on the silent success of the Democratic freshmen —including Rep. Clark Johnson, DFL-North Mankato — who pushed through a revision of the LGA that had wide geographical and bipartisan support.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Spear smile.jpg Spear column: Hoffner case tested first and right rules

    The biggest news stories carry the biggest risk

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SCC leads the way on work ed The importance of higher education has never been more pronounced than with the changes occurring in our economy, especially in manufacturing. Bloomberg News noted that manufacturing accounts for 80 percent of our exports and for every one high-tech

    April 20, 2014

  • Our View: Y helps kids with skatepark Thumbs up to the YMCA and supporters working quickly to open an interim roller sport park. When fire destroyed Chesley Roller Sports Park in February, the Y made the commitment to rebuild it this summer and fall. But the Y also moved to give skateboa

    April 19, 2014

  • Our View: Make course evaluations public There's been a considerable and legitimate debate over the years about whether students at a public university should have access to teacher and course evaluations. Whenever there is a legitimate debate, it's hard to be in favor of less information a

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View: Drawing the line after Ukraine Why it matters: Tensions are ramping up once more as Russia tries to dictate to Ukraine.

    April 17, 2014

  • Our View: Costs key in health care access While more uninsured got coverage, costs must be controlled to sustain programs

    April 16, 2014

  • Our View: Saving lives trumps booking drug users Changes to the drug laws would save lives of those who overdose

    April 15, 2014

  • Pay attention! Distraction a problem A few years ago safety experts focused heavily on the dangers of people talking on cellphones while driving. Some states passed laws prohibiting the use of hand-held phones in cars as a result. Today much attention is on motorists typing on tiny hand

    April 14, 2014

  • DEBATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA When Minnesota lawmakers return from their spring break, one of the issues they may face is medical marijuana. This has been kicked around too many times. We feel it deserves to be pushed from committee and debated on the floor. The issue has been tr

    April 13, 2014

  • Our View: Cities saved on garbage collection Mankato and North Mankato saved their taxpayers money by bidding on garbage service

    April 12, 2014