A good state government relies on a good working relationship between the governor and members of the Legislature.

With past governors, regardless of party, this has always been a possibility. Many times, the Legislature and governor do not agree on policies, or bill language, but they can always come together on behalf of Minnesotans in a positive way. Our state and our voters rely on and expect this relationship.

Unfortunately, Gov. Walz has shown a drastic unwillingness to work with the Legislature in any way.

Recently, Gov. Walz visited a proposed Local Jobs and Projects site in the Brainerd lakes area. The goal of his visit was “to hear from Minnesotans and visit projects that (he) is considering including in his bonding proposal for the 2022 legislative session.”

Etiquette in Minnesota politics dictates that the governor not only inform local elected officials that he will be visiting, but also that he extends an invitation to them for whatever visit he’s embarking on. This shows a camaraderie between elected officials and demonstrates a willingness for the governor and other elected officials to work together to serve the state.

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Not only was I not invited to a tour that would affect my voters, I wasn’t even informed of this event until the day after it occurred when I read about the visit in our local papers.

I was elected by the people of Senate District 10 to serve their interests and act as their voice at the Capitol, and I take that job to heart. Instead of inviting a member of the Legislature who was elected by the very people his projects would serve, I’m extremely disappointed that Gov. Walz and his team carefully curated a stop that only served his interests and political agenda.

Our governor has shown time and time again that he desires no input from the Legislature. We are heading into a very important bonding year in 2022 - the bonding projects that get selected will have the potential to affect many businesses and voters after nearly two years of hardship. This is one area the governor and Legislature should provide equal input on.

These local bonding projects he toured are important to me, but more importantly, they also matter to the people in my district.

It is disrespectful that I was not even extended the courtesy of an invitation to this tour. I would have appreciated attending these project sites to hear more about the projects and the constituents I represent, and how the governor plans to incorporate these projects into his bonding proposals.

I have always seen the importance of having a good bipartisan relationship with previous governors, senators and members of the House, because it’s what our constituents deserve. I’m disappointed to see Gov. Walz being so calculated in the way he cuts the Legislature out when it serves him.

The governor and Legislature should work hand-in-hand to compromise in ways that serve the public, but under the Walz administration, that appears to be a way of the past. This is not how our state should be governed, and our governor must do better.

State Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, represents District 10, which includes Crow Wing and Aitkin counties.