Our Minnesota state budget is to be set every two years. The budget is a creation of budget bills approved by our legislative House and Senate and signed off by our governor. Thus, it is the product of end decisions of the two action groups of our legislative branch and our administrative branch, with less formal involvement and input from the judicial branch. In other words, it is a three-pronged process to get to the final result. This year, the even-numbered budget year for the biennium, the principal spokespersons of the three entities are, obviously, Gov.
A week or so ago state Republican Party chair Keith Downey went to the State Office Building in St. Paul and held a press conference. No legislators who office in that building were present. Downey made quite a splash by announcing that our Legislature (and governor) should use up all of our projected $1.9 billion state surplus by sending out checks for $350 to every Minnesotan (whether they need it or not). Downey had just spent $150,000 of Republican Party money that they apparently don't have (in debt over a million).
I didn't know until reading the Star Tribune yesterday that monthly payments to "welfare" recipients have not been increased in Minnesota in the last almost 30 years. The last adjustment took place back in 1986. It is named differently now. They call it the Minnesota Family Investment Plan (MFIP), which I suppose is an attempt to get away from the stigma, which unfortunately still exists.
Does Brian Williams survive in the news/entertainment arena? In the old days we'd probably bet on it now and forget who won a few months later. Now, the whole nation is, and will continue to be, tweeting, twittering, speculating and otherwise weighing in.
Our government is us - in theory at least. Our standing system of law directs us to think we are a people to govern ourselves. Our government costs money - quite a lot of money. Taxes are the legitimate cost of this government. But, the money spent on government should be used to meet legitimate government needs. Certainly, we need to do a better job of seeing that those taxes are carefully spent, including that they be confined to legitimate agreed upon government expenditures.
Why do so many proposals or attempts to improve education (or to save money on education) end up maligning teachers? Another Mark Anderson (from Ramsey) states, “Once again a legislator...
What a wonderful Christmas we have. I wish it could be as wonderful and magical for all. My heredity and environment are such that I wish you all a Merry Christmas! I wish we didn't divide over whether one's proclamation offends another who says "Happy Hanukkah!" or another greets "Happy Kwanza!" Can't we embrace all and acknowledge the joys and celebrations of each one? Those of us who are so conditioned consider Dec. 24 as Christmas Eve, and Dec. 25 as Christmas Day.
None of us is far away from being one. All of us or our ancestors were immigrants, whether recent or a few generations ago. We did not earn or choose when or how or where or to whom we were born. Basically, over past decades, it had been our practice in America to welcome some immigrants, even to recruit them, particularly if they are star athletes or willing to work for next to nothing.
Earlier this month, we celebrated Veterans Day and commented that veterans appreciation should be year-around and not just on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Now we are in Thanksgiving week. It also should be year-round. Most of us here in the lake country have so much to be thankful for every day, all year long. We can be joyfully thankful for all that we have. Most of us have as many or more material goods than we really need for a comfortable level of life. More importantly, we have the opportunity for faith. We have family and friends to draw from and share with every day of the year.
Last week we selected/elected our government for at least the next two years with some parts for three, four or six years. This week we honor, celebrate and commemorate the service of our country's veterans. I hope we respond and honor our veterans better this week than we exercised our rights to vote last week. We remember when we had to be over 21 to vote. Young people, and a lot of us on their behalf, fought long and hard to expand the privilege to 18.