A new beginning for state government

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times

Minnesota has a new governor and a new, divided state legislature.

Democratic Gov. Tim Walz took the oath of office Monday, Jan. 7, succeeding two-term Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Meanwhile the Minnesota Legislature convened for the first time this year on Tuesday, Jan. 8, with new house members taking the oath and a new DFL majority taking charge. The senate continues to have a Republican majority.

Too many times over the past few years, the legislature and governor have been unable to come to an agreement on budgets, on bonding and on many other issues that face the state.

Here’s hoping that a new governor and legislative leaders will work harder to find common ground on things that Minnesotans deem important. What we don’t want is a legislative impasse like we’ve seen too many times, requiring a special session to pass a budget that should have been taken care of during a regular session. Nor do we want a veto over a bill that had been agreed to by negotiators during the regular session.

Minnesotans deserve elected officials that will do their job, and do them in a timely manner. We want a legislature that does what it is supposed to, when it is supposed to, and a governor and legislature that will put the welfare of all Minnesotans above partisan bickering. And the last thing we want to see is a government shut down when the new fiscal year starts in July.

Gov. Walz had a lot of positive things to say during the campaign and during his inaugural address. The next few months will set the tone for the first four years of the Walz administration. Here’s hoping the tone stays positive.

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