Thanks to the fiscal responsibility of Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL legislators, Minnesota has a true budget surplus for the first time in more than a decade. This is in stark contrast to the years of budget deficits under Republican leadership.
Recently, Republican Rep. Mark Anderson wrote a letter to the editor complaining about a “garbage bill” passed by the Minnesota House. The bill he refers to uses the budget surplus to catch up on long-neglected need facing our state.
In addition to providing a well-deserved raise to home health care workers, it provides funding for schools to ensure all children receive a hot lunch, additional funds for our schools and money to expand broadband in rural areas to help locally owned businesses.
Rep. Anderson also plays fast and loose on the facts with a new Capitol complex office building. While he claims the building cost $90 million, the real cost is $77 million. With the Capitol being renovated and the Minnesota Senate losing office and meeting space, the building is needed.
And while Rep. Anderson might think the building is unnecessary, 67 senators, seniors and the disabled who want easier access to them and the 100,000 people who visit the State Capitol each year would probably disagree. The public deserves to have access to their elected officials and their voice heard in the political process.
It’s disappointing that Rep. Anderson seems more interested in serving his party rather than the people he was elected to represent. I respectfully disagree with Rep. Anderson and believe that giving hard workers who care for our most vulnerable citizens a much deserved raise, providing children a hot lunch and continued investments in our education system are good uses of the state’s budget surplus.