I came away from my meetings at the capitol optimistic

Dan McGonigle

General Manager/Managing Editor

As a member of the ECM Editorial Board, I had the opportunity to visit with the governor and democratic and republican leadership of the house and senate.

The meetings took place this past Thursday, April 20.

The meetings were productive and covered a wide range of issues that the governing bodies will be tackling the rest of this session.

As the tax bill continues to make its way towards the governor’s desk, he wasn’t willing to go on the record that he’d be signing the bill into law.

But he wasn’t ready to veto it, either.

Rep. Greg Davids, who co-authored the bill remains “optimistic” of its chances.

The bill, as you know, would have huge implications for all Minnesotans, but would also have some tax relief for the citizens of the Caledonia Area School District (as well as a few others who have Maximum Effort Capital Loans).

As you may recall, the governor pocket vetoed last year’s version of the bill which had bi-partisian support to the tune of 89% of the house and senate both democrats and republicans.

This year, with a budget surplus of $1.6 billion, the house bill has a number of $1.3 billion and the senate bill has a bill of roughly $900 million proposed.

The two bodies will make their cases but Davids noted that taxpayers deserve as much as possible of the surplus to be returned to them.

We’ll see how it all plays out as the session continues. But we all know those of us here in Caledonia will be watching, and if politics costs us another well-written bill, those same people will be sending a strong message to St. Paul to get the job done come 2018.

Encouraged

I did walk away from our last meeting of the day, with Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (Rep.) when he spoke of “working together with his colleagues across the aisle.”

The senate is split 34-33 so the margins are slim.

Gazelka knows he has to work with the other party to get things done, and I for one believe that is how it should always be.

Earlier in the day he had a meeting with speaker of the house Kurt Daudt and the governor. He came away from the meeting encouraged that the two parties will set aside their differences and work on behalf of the people of Minnesota.

Again, we’ll take a wait-and-see approach.

I, for one, am optimistic that our leaders can finally get things done on our behalf.