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Wednesday, June 29, 2005 

Suspending the Rules

Our wonderful Republican friends in the Minnesota House of Representatives today refused to pass/allow to come to a vote a lights-on bill. To be exact, every DFLer and 4 GOPers voted to suspend the rules to allow the bill to come to a floor vote, since it hadn't come through committee. The suspension failed; twenty more members would have had to vote aye. The Senate is expected to pass the bill tomorrow, assuming Sen. Johnson still has control of his caucus.

This will be political suicide for the Republicans. The headlines tomorrow should read "House Republicans vote for shutdown." And that's exactly what it is. I nor any other DFLer is eager for Minnesota's government to shut down, but perhaps for the voters it will be enough so that in the 2007 legislative session we don't have to put up with GOP crap and can encourage our leaders to work on an agenda that ensures a better future for the people of this state. God willing.

House meets at 11 AM, Senate at an early 9 AM.

The Star Trib has an article (published tonight, despite the dateline) detailing recent developments. I was mostly out of the loop this afternoon and evening, so I haven't heard everything.

23 hours and counting.

Republican obstructionism
AMEN! This illustrates just how polarizing and divisive the far right agenda is for letting government work. The Minnesota Millionaires Club and its no new taxes pledge is the root cause of this problem.

PAWLENTYCO says that we have a spending problem and that government like families should tighten its belt in tough times. I have a message for them. Families will take on a second and third jobs in tough times to improve their budgets. Government needs to be able to do the same thing with a tax increase. It is foolish public policy to remove possible solutions from the table. As a DFL'er I have never advocated for tax increases only. I have always thought that a balanced approach was the route to take. I would be willing to bet that my views are in the mainstream.

The average Minnesota family pays something like 12% in state taxes. Members of the Millionaires club pay 10% and falling. It is time that they start paying a fair share of the burden

That's absolutely right. Minnesota millionaires aren't paying their fair share, by any measure. We need to be calling Republicans out on their protection/preference for the wealthy at the cost of health care for the working class, among other things. Maybe we do spend too much, but we don't collect enough from those who can easily afford it, either.

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