To the Editor:
Residents of Houston and Fillmore counties should be extremely pleased with the recently completed legislative session. The Democrat majorities in the House and Senate along with Democrat Governor Mark Dayton put our state on a new path for the future that will benefit all of us.
Democrats passed and the governor signed into law $440 million in property tax relief. This is a roll back of nearly half of the $1 billion Greg Davids’ property tax increase passed in 2011 when Republicans controlled the legislature. Democrats also put nearly $500 million of new money into E-12 education, the first real increase in the last 10 years. This measure includes funds so that every child in Minnesota has access to all-day-every-day kindergarten.
Democrats paid for this the right way, by raising income taxes on the highest income Minnesotans. Instead of raising property taxes as former Governor Tim Pawlenty did, Democrats made our tax system more fair and progressive, lowering property taxes and raising income taxes on the rich.
There are probably less than one hundred households in Houston and Fillmore counties that will pay higher income taxes because of this year’s state budget.
And Democrats passed legislation setting up the new healthcare exchange, MNSURE, mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act. It is estimated that 1 million Minnesotans, many of whom have never had health insurance before, will now be able to obtain good affordable health care. This is a huge step forward for health care in our state.
Unfortunately, our two Republican legislators, Greg Davids and Jeremy Miller voted against all these measures.
The real truth is that Republicans have nothing to offer the people of this State or this country. They are wrong on everything. They’re wrong on taxes, they’re wrong on spending, they’re wrong on deficits. They’re wrong on education, and they’re certainly wrong on climate change.
Rural areas like Houston and Fillmore counties would do themselves a favor if they stopped voting Republican and conservative. The fact is that we are all benefiting immensely because of the efforts of Democrats elected in the suburbs and the Twin Cities.
Houston County, MN