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Reader's view: Dayton's budget sound for years to come

On Jan. 22, Gov. Mark Dayton put forth his budget proposal for the 2014-15 biennium. While not what I would have suggested in every detail, I was pleased to see for the first time in my legislative experience the proposed budget was structurally ...

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On Jan. 22, Gov. Mark Dayton put forth his budget proposal for the 2014-15 biennium. While not what I would have suggested in every detail, I was pleased to see for the first time in my legislative experience the proposed budget was structurally sound and balanced not just for months but for the next four years. This is the right starting point for an honest dialogue about what we want as Minnesotans and how to pay for it.

There is something in the governor's budget for everyone to like as well as dislike. The reality, though, is Minnesota cannot keep doing business the way it has for the past decade.

As a member of the committees focused on commerce, taxes and transportation, I anticipate participating in detailed conversations about the proposed budget and our great state's future economic stability.

Already, I have connected some of my top priorities with those laid out by Gov. Dayton. These include a renewed commitment to K-12 and higher education, stronger support for regional centers via local government aid and property tax relief for homeowners.

We are finally about to be doing what I have wanted to do since coming to the Legislature: having a complete and honest budget conversation. I look forward to talking with my fellow legislators, and Duluthians, to ensure our next budget creates stable solutions for Minnesota's priorities and long-term fiscal health.

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I encourage you to read the governor's budget. You can find it on the Minnesota Management and Budget website. I also plan to host a town hall forum in Duluth with state budget experts and with Rep. Erik Simonson, DFL-Duluth, as we continue this conversation over the next several months.

Roger J. Reinert

Duluth

The writer represents District 7 in the Minnesota Senate.

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