The state of the state is hopeful

Governor Dayton’s state of the state address gave me a moment to reflect on our role as responsible stewards of our state. His tone of cooperation and bipartisanship to build a better Minnesota struck a cord with me and renews my continued commitment to make sound decisions that will benefit all Minnesotans now and years down the road.
I think that regardless of your politics, putting Minnesotans back to work, investing in our schools and education system, and making government more effective and efficient, is a common goal that we can all work towards. Everyone wants to live in, and be part of a Minnesota we can all be proud of.
I was especially struck by the Gov. Dayton’s line, “I am hopeful, because I believe in Minnesota. I believe in Minnesotans.” I too believe in our state and citizens. I believe we all basically want the same thing for our parents, children and grandchildren. I believe every person honored to serve in the Legislature wants to give future generations of Minnesotans the tools and resources they need to succeed and lead our state forward.
The overall message Gov. Dayton emphasized is working together to get Minnesotans back to work. The actions we take in the next few months can make a big difference in Minnesota’s recovery. That’s why I am supporting Governor Dayton’s Jobs Plan for Minnesota. It includes investing in jobs through a bonding proposal that will put more than 21,000 Minnesotans back to work by investing $775 million in improvements in infrastructure, our colleges and universities, and regional economic development
projects such as the Hormel Institute expansion which will create 125 new, permanent jobs. I call on my Republican colleagues to get this bonding bill passed as soon as possible to help boost our economy.
Reform initiatives were another cornerstone of the governor’s speech. We must support ways to save money, reduce waste and make government work better for people. The governor’s ‘Moving at the Speed of Business’ and ‘One-Stop Shop for Job Creation’ programs are two initiatives to give existing, new and expanding businesses the tools they need to succeed.
I agree with the governor that Minnesota’s competitive advantage is our talented and skilled workforce – which has historically made Minnesota a great place to start and grow a business. This begins with making sure every student has access to a great education that prepares them for college or a career. To do this, we must focus on early learning, strong K-12 teachers, and a higher education system that prepares Minnesotans for great jobs. I am confident we can find middle ground to pass legislation to address these important issues.
To get things done, we must put away the partisan rhetoric, quit wasting time on extreme social issues, and get to the heart of what matters to all Minnesotans. And that is healthy families, a good education system, an economy that grows jobs and a sense of security that we are moving our state in the right direction.
The governor’s state of the state address reminds me of what an honor it is to serve Southern Minnesota as your state senator. Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I can be reached at Room 19 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155. My phone number 651-296-9248 and email sen.dan.sparks@senate.mn.
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Senator Dan Sparks
Dan Sparks represents District 27, which includes all or portions of Dodge, Faribault, Freeborn, Mower, and Steele counties in the southeastern part of the state.

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