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Wiger: Governor Lays Out Plan for State

Sen. Chuck Wiger gives his insight on Gov. Dayton's State of the State address.

The State of the State is a wonderful opportunity to come together as Minnesotans. Members from the House and Senate sit together, as do members from the Democratic and Republican parties. The night is filled with pomp and circumstance and tradition. It is a wonderful event.

As in every State of the State address, Governor Dayton examined where we are as a state and outlined his vision for the future of Minnesota. Here are a few highlights about the state of Minnesota:

  • Almost 52,000 jobs were added in the past year
  • Minnesota ranked 12th in job growth in 2012
  • Math scores for all tested grades improved by 5.3 percent from 2011 to 2012
  • Reading scores for all tested graded improved by 1.3 percent from 2011 to 2012
  • State finances have been boosted by $2.5 billion, allowing the State to restore reserves and pay more than 60% back to our schools

As you can see, Minnesota is making strides in the right direction, but we’re not done yet. We still have work to do across the state, but also in our district.

One of Governor Dayton’s points of focus was on improving our education system. One of his new proposals is to have businesses “Adopt an After-School Program.” Children in North St. Paul, Maplewood and Oakdale have diminishing opportunities for after-school programs. It is important we keep kids engaged and off the streets. 

The Governor also recognizes the need for more funding in our K-12 classrooms. Children in North St Paul and Maplewood have all day kindergarten; now let’s make sure the kids of White Bear Lake and Mahtomedi have that same option. Investing in education has long-term benefits for the district and the State. I’m pleased Governor Dayton is committed to helping our youth. 

We are continuing our work on the budget here at the Capitol. I look forward to the on-going discussion of our priorities and values, where we need to be respectful of everybody’s point of view. Governor Dayton highlighted the need to compromise during his speech.

“The genius of our system of governance is that no one gets to have it all her or his way. Starting with the Governor.” 

We will work together to compromise and pass a good budget for Minnesota.

I welcome your input on the Governor’s speech, the on-going budget discussions and on any other topic you feel is important. Please email me at sen.chuck.wiger@senate.mn, call my office at 651-296-6820 or visit me at 205 Capitol, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155.

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