Legislative Update - December 7, 2010
Recently the state budget forecast was announced, showing a projected $6.2 billion
deficit over the next two years. The
spending spree of the last two decades has come back to bite state government,
and it means we have many tough decisions ahead. It is time to turn-around unsustainable
spending, and in its place redesign a government that lives within its means.
deficit is driven by several factors.
Primarily, the previous legislature set aside the work of reform and
instead relied on a $2 billion bailout from Washington. This deficit is also driven by one-time
spending reductions that myself and Republican colleagues wanted made permanent,
but were allowed to expire. Now we must
undertake the hard-but-necessary work of making government more responsible,
accountable and sustainable.
good news out of the budget forecast is a projected 5 percent revenue increase
at existing tax levels. By focusing on
priorities and innovating to reduce the cost of government, we can continue to
provide the services our citizens expect and the value you deserve.
this time of slow but fragile economic recovery, the last thing the government
can do is go back to the taxpayers for more.
It is time we give you something—results. Our new majority is committed to putting a
stop to unsustainable government spending and promoting job growth in the
While the challenges are many, it is also an
opportunity to change the way government does business. The legislative session begins next January
4, but in the meantime please do not hesitate to contact me with your
questions, concerns and comments. It is
a privilege to serve you and our community.
Legislative Update: New Laws - July 22, 2010
Summer is in full swing, and I hope you are enjoying all of the great events and activities this season has to offer. And although government is probably not the first thing you’re thinking of these days, as your representative I wanted to take a moment to update you on new laws passed during the 2010 session and taking effect August 1.
As always, please contact me with your questions or concerns on any state legislative issue. It is a privilege to serve you and our community, and bring the voice and values of Blaine to St. Paul.
Kelsey Smith Act
Three years ago, Kansas teenager Kelsey Smith was abducted and murdered. Officials and her family were unable to find Kesley for three days, until finally her parents compelled the family’s cell phone provider to release her phone’s location. Federal law allows — but does not require — that the companies provide that information.
In hopes of preventing more tragic stories like Kelsey’s, The Kelsey Smith Act requires cell phone service providers to disclose customers’ call location in emergency situations, as well as in cases where an individual is missing and at risk of death or serious physical harm.
The law also addresses issues of privacy by requiring that the law enforcement agency seeking the data submit a written request, and that service providers establish protocols to respond to requests in emergency situations.
Alcohol-related accidents make up one-third of all traffic deaths in Minnesota each year. Preventing these tragedies is always a priority in our community, and a new law aims to boost that effort by requiring ignition interlock devices in the vehicles of certain DWI offenders. As Governor Pawlenty said, this legislation shows Minnesota is serious about preventing drunk-driving accidents and improving the safety of our state’s roadways.
New Tobacco Products
Under fears that new tobacco products could lure young adults and children, a new law expands the definition of tobacco products to include nicotine strips and “Tic-Tac” style nicotine orbs, and regulates these products as cigarettes and cigars. The law also applies to electronic cigarettes and candy- or fruit-flavored “little cigars.” The law makes it a petty misdemeanor for those under the age of 18 to possess, purchase or attempt to purchase these non-tobacco nicotine products.
COMMERCE AND CONSUMERS
Protecting Hometown Businesses and Consumers
In these challenging economic times, home-grown Minnesota businesses don’t deserve to be undercut by out-of-state scammers. It is now illegal for out-of-state companies to misrepresent their location in phone directories, print ads and on the Internet.
The law addresses a scam in which out-of-state companies place ads pretending to be Minnesota-based companies, overcharging Minnesota customers then transferring the orders to actual Minnesota companies and keeping the difference as profit. Practitioners have targeted the floral and locksmith industries in particular. This new law aims to protect consumers, small businesses and local economies from such deceptive business practices.
Ensuring consumer choice
Consumers will now have more choice when it comes to phone, cable and internet service providers. Effective August 1, it becomes easier for telephone companies to offer “triple-play” services — voice, video and Internet — by letting local governments grant cable franchises to companies that already provide phone services within a given area.
Biodiesel mandate exemption extended
Minnesota law requires diesel fuel contain a certain percentage of biodiesel. After many reports from drivers of blends “gelling up” in extremely low temperatures, a new law allows the Department of Commerce to lift the mandate on the state’s biodiesel content requirement between October and March. This flexibility will help ensure that diesel blends stand up to the demands of colder temperatures during winter months, and help prevent problems previously experienced by Minnesota drivers.
Broadband for everyone
High-speed internet is becoming an increasingly important part of commerce, economic activity and education. As a national leader in technology efforts, Minnesota intends to provide every resident the ability to access high-speed broadband Internet service by 2015. A new law established high-speed goals for the state including:
High-speed broadband Internet for every home and business by 2015
• Top five nationally for broadband speed
• Top five nationally for broadband access
• Top 15 globally for broadband deployment
The law stems from the work of the Minnesota Ultra High-Speed Broadband Task Force, which spent two years researching a strategy for expanding broadband Internet service throughout the state.
Our veterans and armed service members protect our freedom and way of life, putting this country and all of us ahead of themselves. To recognize their courage and sacrifice, the legislature established May 28 as Veterans of Foreign Wars Day in Minnesota. The date coincides with the founding of the VFW on May 28, 1899. It provides all of us one more way to say thank you and recognize our veterans.
Memorial Day Message from Rep. Tim Sanders
With the legislative session behind us and Memorial Day around the corner, it can mean only one thing: summer is here. On this holiday weekend, I hope you get a chance to enjoy time with friends and family. I also hope we all reflect on the great sacrifices our veterans and armed services members make to preserve our freedom and way of life.
If you are traveling this weekend, stay safe and enjoy the destination. And if you’ll be around the Blaine area, I encourage you to check out community events including the Memorial Day Soccer Tournament at the National Sports Center.
There are also Memorial Day services on Saturday, May 29 at 10am at Morningside Memorial Gardens in Coon Rapids and at 11:30 a.m. at Bunker Hills Park in Coon Rapids. The public is invited to a picnic with the Anoka County Veterans Council at Bunker Hills Park after the ceremonies.
Throughout the summer, feel free to contact me with questions and concerns on any legislative issue. The session may be over, but my work as your representative continues. Thank you for that privilege, and have a great Memorial Day.
2010 Budget Balancing Compromise
Below is a link to a summary of the budget compromise reached on Monday, May 17, 2010. I willl post more later in the week.
I look forward to discussing this piece of legislation, and many others, with each of you this summer.
News Release: Rep. Tim Sanders: Balance the Budget First, then Develop a Com
Read my news release regarding today's (5/5/10) vote on the Vikings stadium proposal here.
Legislative Update, April 28, 2010
Only three weeks remain in the 2010 legislative session and the
legislature has yet to begin addressing the remaining deficit. More
alarming is that the majority has yet to make little progress
controlling excessive government spending. Current budget proposals
rely on one-time fixes and federal money. Even if we leave the 2010
session with a balanced budget, a more severe deficit will be waiting.
We need to do the hard work of reforming the way Minnesota government
Structural reform is critical to solving the current deficit and to
preventing future shortfalls. My House Republican colleagues and I have
offered several positive reforms to bring cost-savings and long-term
structural efficiencies. These include: zero-based budgeting, reducing
the size and cost of the state government workforce and the Sunset
Commission to review and retire unnecessary spending. These and other
reform proposals have previously been blocked or ignored by the
majority. It is time they were given a full and fair hearing. Our
future financial stability depends on it.
Minnesota’s future also depends on a strong free market and quality
job growth. The legislature must continue to pass the pro-growth
initiatives promoting opportunity and expansion by Minnesota job
creators. The Jobs bill was a great first step. We cannot, however,
stop there. Tax and regulatory reform, alongside structural reform for
a balanced budget, will strengthen the economic foundation of this
state. With an open door to economic opportunity, the hardworking
people of Minnesota will put us back on track for recovery and growth.
Now is not the time to settle on federal money and one-time fixes. It
is time to uphold our responsibility to the citizens of Minnesota, by
delivering the solutions for a balanced budget and free market
opportunity they deserve.
Legislative Update, April 22, 2010
With the legislature in a holding pattern and the summer driving season
around the corner, I wanted to provide an update on road projects in and
around our area. MnDot has three projects planned for major highways
including Hwy 10 and 35W, all of which are funded through the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act. I encourage everyone to be patient and
stay safe as these projects are underway. Here are the details:
Hwy 10 from Blaine to Shoreview
Description: Resurface three miles of Hwy 10 from I-35W to Hwy 65 in
Blaine, Mounds View and Shoreview
Construction Dates: TBA
Traffic Impacts: Lane closures
I-35W Arden Hills to Blaine
Description: Resurface 4.25 miles of I-35W from I-694 to Lake Dr. in
Arden Hills, New Brighton, Mounds View, Shoreview and Blaine
Construction Dates: April 19 - Sept. 30, 2010
Traffic Impacts: Increased congestion
I-35W Arden Hills to Blaine
Description: Add new southbound lane between Hwy 10 and County Road 23
Construction Dates: April - Sept 2010
Traffic Impacts: Lane closure
There are several other planned road construction and public works
projects in Blaine this summer, and you can stay up to date and receive
email updates through the City of Blaine’s website:
With one month to go in the 2010 legislative session, I welcome your
continued questions and feedback. The legislature may be in neutral for
the moment, but there are still important issues to address. As we
again take up the issues of the budget and promoting free enterprise, I
look forward to hearing from you and bringing the voice of Blaine to St.
Legislative Update, April 16, 2010
this year, I wrote about the
Freedom Foundation’s report that people are “voting with their feet” and moving
to places with more favorable tax climates.
This week, the Tax Foundation issued its Tax Freedom day analysis. Tax Freedom day is the date when Minnesotans
have made enough money to pay all taxes, on the federal, state and local level,
owed for the year.
citizens worked 103 days – 8th longest among states – to pay off our
taxes in 2010. This is the highest of all
our neighboring states. South and North
Dakota citizens worked 88 and 93 days respectively. Even Wisconsin (102 days) and Iowa (98 days)
reached their Tax Freedom day sooner than Minnesota. Yet again, we see the need to make Minnesota
more competitive and improve our state’s business climate.
Minnesota’s sub-par tax and
business climate, as you and I know, is an impediment to economic growth and
expansion. This is compounded by the
fact that our neighbors in the Dakotas are among the friendliest tax climates. At my small business forum and town hall
listening sessions, Minnesota’s tax burden was a central issue of concern to
job providers and residents alike.
economic recovery and renewed opportunity will come from Minnesota’s hardworking
families and free enterprise job creators.
The angel investor credit and expanded research credit were great first
steps, but the Legislature cannot stop there.
We must continue to pass the pro-growth reforms Minnesota families and
job creators need.
As the legislative session heads into
the final weeks, I encourage your continued feedback and involvement. Your voice makes a difference. Together we develop solutions to improve
Minnesota’s business climate and open the door to economic opportunity.
Letter to Governor Pawlenty
Two weeks ago I, and some of my fellow House GOP colleagues, signed and delivered a letter to Governor Pawlenty regarding his cuts to community based services.
The Governor's supplemental budget was based on a deficit of $1.2 billion. The actual budget deficit came in at $994 million. This was $209 million less than forecasted. His budget included a cut of 2.5% to home and community based services - a total of $37.3 million. We feel at least part of the $209 million under-forecasted money should go to buy back this cut.
A link to view a copy of the letter is here.
Please take some time to read this letter and share your thoughts with me
Legislative Update, April 1, 2010
This past week the House of Representatives took up the final version of its first budget bill. Unfortunately, this bill continued the majority’s run of misdirected priorities and failed leadership.
The bill covers only a portion of the current $994 million deficit. It lacks any reform to address the nearly $6 billion shortfall for 2012-13. Zero-based budgeting, the one positive reform the Democrats accepted on the House floor last week, was removed from the bill by conference committee.
My biggest question on the bill is “where are the priorities?” This bill wastes an opportunity to restructure state government. Instead, it reduces the Governor’s funding requests for veterans’ programs 90 percent this year and 100 percent in 2012-13. Funding to shelters for battered and abused women like Blaine’s Alexandria House is also cut.
Without long-term solutions for cost-savings and structural reform, the state will continue to face budget deficits, and will fall short of delivering the results you deserve. I know that we can do better. It is time to reform the way government does business and restore the commitment to real priorities. I will continue to work for solutions that promote fiscal responsibility, free enterprise and quality job growth.
On a more positive note, the legislature also passed a pro-growth bill this week. This bill includes an angel investor credit and an expansion of the research credit for Minnesota businesses. This is a step in the right direction to increase opportunity and development. I hope the legislature will continue to act on the needs of our families and job creators in the coming weeks.
Legislative Update, March 25, 2010
Earlier this week the House took its first step in balancing the state’s budget deficit. Facing a $5.8 billion structural deficit through 2012-13, this was the first opportunity we had to make real reforms to how the government does business. There is a lot of room to positively affect the role of government while still reducing its size.
On Monday the House passed its first “budget balancing” bill. Unfortunately, the majority pushed this through without any type of framework for balancing the entire $994 million deficit. Nonetheless, my House Republican colleagues and I attempted to make this bill better by amending on real reforms. These would have improved Minnesota’s short and long-term fiscal stability.
Initially, it appeared the majority would be open to our ideas. Our first proposed amendment was a common-sense measure adopting “zero-based” budgeting. This would require each agency to start from zero, justify every penny of their budget each biennium, and validate every increase – potentially saving taxpayers millions of dollars each budget cycle. Hopefully the House and Senate conference committee will keep this reform in the final version of the bill.
Unfortunately the majority’s willingness to consider ideas on a bipartisan basis did not continue. The majority voted down or refused to vote on the rest of our amendments, including ones which would reduce the size of the state government workforce and institute a Sunset Commission. Plans to restructure government were called inapplicable to a bill which dealt directly with state government.
While the bill does contain some cost cutting measures, it lacks real reforms to alleviate future shortfalls. First, there is too much dependence on federal money. The bill is also overly reliant on one-time cuts which do nothing to address the $5.8 billion structural deficit. Finally, the majority used taxpayer money to sue to reverse Governor Pawlenty’s unallotments, yet they fail to account for the additional $2.7 billion shortfall the lawsuit would create if successful.
Minnesotans deserve better leadership. Our reforms showed a commitment to innovative ideas to reduce the cost of government while promoting efficiency and results. There is much more work to be done on the budget. I will continue to work for the common sense solutions to bring responsibility back to government and prosperity back to Minnesota.
2010 Legislative Survey Results
The results from my 2010 Legislative Survey are below:
What is the most important issue facing Minnesota?
Budget Deficits 38%
Tax Levels 33%
Health Care Cost & Access 19%
Education Funding 11%
Transportation & Infrastructure Quality 3%
Do you support the state limiting spending to revenue levels from the prior biennium to prevent future budget deficits?
Strongly support 61%
Somewhat support 26%
Somewhat oppose 7%
Strongly oppose 6%
Would you support raising taxes to balance the budget?
Strongly support 9%
Somewhat support 13%
Somewhat oppose 16%
Strongly oppose 61%
What is the best thing the state government can do to improve the economy?
Borrow money to fund construction projects 4%
Reduce business taxes to encourage
entrepreneurs to create new jobs 44%
Raise taxes in order to better fund/or expand
state government programs 10%
Reduce income taxes so individuals and families
can keep more of their money to help afford
rising costs for basic needs 49%
Do you support allowing Minnesota residents to purchase approved health insurance products across state lines?
Strongly support 69%
Somewhat support 20%
Somewhat oppose 3%
Stongly oppose 4%
Do you support building a new Vikings stadium?
Yes - with public money 11%
Yes - without public money 35%
Yes - with Racino money 31%
No - unless the Vikings will move 2%
No - regardless of funding mechanism 24%
Do youy support repealing the ban on nuclear power plant construction?
Strongly support 55%
Somewhat support 23%
Somewhat oppose 10%
Strongly oppose 10%
Note: All totals do not add up to 100%. This is due to not all responses having answers to each question.
Background on GAMC Program
Last May, GAMC was included
in the Governor’s unallotments. The
total saved from eliminating the program was around $500 million. GAMC enrollees were to be enrolled in
MinnesotaCare beginning in April 2010 unless suitable reforms were made to
GAMC. The DFL majority presented, and
passed, a GAMC “reform bill” (SF 2168) on February 18. The Governor vetoed it
the same day. That bill did reduce costs
for this biennium, but it contained no reforms to control its escalating cost
for future budget cycles. Essentially, it re-established GAMC in its prior
form, while reducing provider reimbursement rates by 50%.
On March 1 the DFL-led
majority in the House attempted to override the Governor’s veto. The veto
override was presented as being one of two options. The other option, according
to the majority, was no health care for the less fortunate in Minnesota. According to them there was not going to be a
compromise. Fortunately, for all Minnesotans, a compromise was reached this past Friday.
*One additional note: Without any reform the cost of GAMC next biennium (2012-13) would have been over $900 million.
Facts about GAMC Compromise Agreement
The following is
a summary of the agreement reached on GAMC. This explains the various funding
mechanisms and care techniques being utilized under the new GAMC.
Organizations (CCOs) Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and Medical Homes
are terms for a care model we are moving toward for this patient population.
Despite technical differences, people use these terms interchangeably.
Basically it is a way to connect unconnected providers to make sure people are
getting care that gets them back on their feet instead of racking up revenue.
reached stops auto enrollment for two additional months. In that time period,
17 hospitals set up coordinated care systems. In agreeing to this, hospitals
assume the cost of caring for GAMC patients for an intensive coordinated care
delivery model for six months. They will have the incentive to find the most
appropriate program (VA, MA, MNCare etc) the patient qualifies for and get them
there quickly. Hospitals will have a disincentive to admit patients, and an
incentive to keep them on their medications and get them healthy and stable.
There is a pool
of money for the patients as well as the medicines.
For all other
hospitals, there is a $20M pool set up for these to bill into for the remainder
of the year. Reimbursement will be based on GAMC eligible claims. It is the
intent that these hospitals will become CCOs or form agreements with others
within existing systems in the next year. Extending the 2nd tier pool would
require legislative action in the next biennium.
for the CCOs is capped at $110M/year in the next biennium. DHS is getting us
more data on costs and comparisons to other proposals.
The agreement is
a solution aimed at capping spending, directing dollars to the areas of most
need, transitioning patients to the most appropriate healthcare program and
finally to get these folks healthy and productive again.
Below is the text
of the Actual Agreement signed by Senators Berglin and Senjem, Representatives
Huntley and Dean and Department of Human Services Commissioner Cal Ludeman.
1. We agree to stop auto-enrollment
to 2-month bridge via GAMC at a one-time HCAF cost of $28 million.
3. Propose $71 million for CCOs. This covers a 130month period in FY
2010-11. The appropriation for this program is capped and on-going. The FY
2012-13 amoutn budgeted for this program is $131 million.
4. Agree to 10% increase going to 3 CCO hospitals; Hennepin County Medical
Center (HCMC), Regions and University of Minnesota-Fairview.
5. We agree to the concept of a drug pool. Propose $45 million for drug pool. This
covers a 13-month period in FY 2010-11. The appropriation for this program is capped
and on-going. The FY 2012-13 amount budgeted for this program is $83 million.
to CCO match to state for drug pool of 20%.
to Temporary UCP at a on-time HCAF cost of $20 million.
reductions to CCSA grants or DHS administration to finance cost of proposal.
Subsequent fiscal analysis by staff to determine available savings from DSH,
recoveries, drug rebates.
extraneous language in the bill that doesn’t relate directly to this proposal.
FY 2010-11 cost for this Proposal:
Bridge via GAMC = $28M Health Care Access Fund (HCAF)
CCOs = $71M General Fund (GF)
Drug Pool = $45M GF
Temporary UCP = $20M HCAF
million in FY 2010-11
11. Total FY 2012-13 cost for this Proposal:
Bridge via GAMC = $0 Health Care Access Fund (HCAF)
CCOs = $131M General Fund (GF)
Drug Pool = $83M GF
million in FY 2010-11
Legislative Update, March 3, 2010
This week we learned that Minnesota government faces a deficit of $994 million. The situation looks worse for the next budget cycle with a projected deficit of $5.8 billion. The first month of session has focused on government borrowing in a bonding bill full of misguided priorities. My hope is the majority will finally let us get down to the business of the budget and long-term structural reform.
Minnesota government must focus on needs rather than wants. This deficit shows the need to renew the commitment to sensible government and focus the state’s efforts on core priorities. Balancing the budget will help relieve the uncertainty causing job creators and small businesses to hold back on expansion and growth. We need to achieve a balanced budget by reforming and streamlining government. This will help Minnesota’s job providers and families by freeing them from the burden of unnecessary bureaucracy.
While addressing Minnesota’s budget problems, we must also recognize the needs of job providers. Today, Minnesota ranks in the bottom five of the Small Business Survival index and is far below average for business climate. Our home-grown corporations are building in locations around the world instead of expanding in Minnesota.
We owe it to Minnesotans to reverse this trend. Successes from Medtronic to the start-up on Main Street are proof of our state’s tremendous workforce. We want to give birth to leading job providers and facilitate their growth. A first step is for more legislators to simply listen to small business owners and job creators.
The House Small Business Caucus survey showed that a majority of small businesses see tax reform as the number one thing the legislature can do to help them succeed in Minnesota. Attendees at my small business forum last fall conveyed the same message. A combination of tax and regulatory relief, research credits and incentives for investing in small business will empower Minnesota job creators to achieve renewed opportunity and prosperity.
While the state’s budget situation is certainly negative, the challenge facing the legislature is also an opportunity to achieve positive results. With common sense reforms to balance the budget and by opening the door to economic opportunity, I know that the hardworking people of Blaine and all of Minnesota will achieve growth and prosperity.
Legislative Update, February 25, 2010
The past week witnessed a flurry of activity in the Legislature,
especially on the government borrowing bill.
This past Monday the legislature approved $1 billion in new borrowing.
This was done before any attempt was made to balance our $1.2 billion
budget deficit. Not only was this bill too expensive, but it was also
misguided. The bill provided $2 million for the Minneapolis Sculpture
Garden, yet nothing for local roads. It borrowed millions for civic
centers, yet left out funds to house serious sex offenders. At a time
when we should be focusing on needs, the debt bill was full of wants.
Minnesotans deserve better.
The Governor promised a veto of the bill. Before he could veto it
however, the majority party opted to rework the bill instead. This
gives the legislature and the Governor the chance to work on an
agreeable solution. Any bonding bill must focus on infrastructure and
asset preservation. These were the projects the Governor’s bonding
recommendations focused on. Unnecessary projects are exactly as they
sound, and should not be funded using the state’s credit card when
there is a budget deficit. Most importantly, a bonding bill cannot be
viewed as the solution for Minnesota’s ailing economy.
The reality is that instead of borrowing, we must focus on balancing
the budget and jumpstarting the private market. Renewed fiscal
responsibility will relieve the uncertainty causing many businesses and
investors to hold back on expansion. Pro-growth policies including
investment incentives, research credits and tax relief will promote free
enterprise and help job providers. These are the reforms we need for
long-term, quality job growth and economic opportunity.
The rest of this legislative session must be about priorities. Quality
job growth, a balanced budget and a reformed safety net can all be a
part of this session’s accomplishments. The issues facing the
Legislature may present a challenge, but they give us the opportunity
and the responsibility to deliver the results Minnesotans want and
February 16, 2010 Update
This is the e-mail update I sent out on February, 16...
Last night the House passed its version of the borrowing bill. Coming in at over $1 billion, the borrowing bill contains a number of projects that qualify more as “wants” than “needs.” Over the next 20 years this borrowing will cost the state an average of $25 million per year in interest alone, making the actual cost of the bill closer $1.5 billion. Simply put, this bill places too much debt on the backs of future Minnesotans.
The borrowing bill also puts our state’s credit rating at further risk. By borrowing $1.5 billion now, we are significantly straining our future liquidity. Taking on this much new debt could drive up the interest rate on issued bonds, and result in the state spending millions more in debt service each year. We already have a projected budget deficit of $4 billion for the next biennium. Borrowing another $1 billion is not in our state’s best interest.
We need a bill that focuses on infrastructure and asset preservation. The current bill contains no money local roads, yet has $164 million earmarked for pet transportation projects. The borrowing bill’s supporters claim it will create jobs. In reality, the borrowing bill only shifts investment from private to public projects. Instead of investors looking at projects and determining which are worthy of investing in, the government makes that choice for them.
Every dollar invested in a government project is a dollar not invested in the free market and private economy. It is that free market and our hardworking Minnesota job providers who will bring economic recovery and opportunity, not government.
I am hopeful we can reduce the bill’s scope and turn it into a true “bonding” bill—one that focuses on necessary asset preservation and infrastructure improvement. I am also committed to empowering Minnesota’s free market job providers and entrepreneurs with tools including tax relief, investment incentives and research credits.
With the right priorities and by acting on the needs of Minnesotans—not the wants of politicians in St. Paul—we can achieve recovery, opportunity and growth.