St. Paul, Minn.— Governor Mark Dayton gave his eighth and final State of the State address on March 14 to a joint session of the Minnesota Legislature. Dayton’s speech highlighted improvements in the state’s economy, investments in public schools, efforts to improve water quality and expanded access to health care.
In response, Sen. Nick Frentz released the statement below:
“I share in Gov. Dayton’s assessment that the state of the state is strong today and join him in his optimism for our future. I’m proud to have supported sound investment policies that have kept our state economically and fiscally sound. For example, I was proud to vote on Tuesday night for fully funded pensions. This will keep our state’s bond rating strong and lead to lower borrowing costs.
When Dayton was first elected, he faced a $6.2 billion budget deficit that followed years of budget deficits and uncertainty. Today, the state of the state is much stronger with a budget reserve of $1.9 billion and a forecasted $329 million surplus for the remainder of the current two-year budget cycle.
Even though Dayton is leaving in January, our state must continue practicing what made us a prosperous as a state. Starting with education, we need to address issues on PreK education in rural areas. Next, we need to make required fixes to our infrastructure, both land and water. As we’ve realized watching other states, clean water isn’t something you miss until it’s too late. Finally, the state needs to resolve lingering issues with MNLARS and the state Pension plan. I am hopeful that both of those issues will be resolved by the end of session. By continuing a prudent path of fiscal spending and focusing on preventative measures, our state will continue to be recognized, both as a fiscal and policy leader.
The State of Minnesota is strong – but I look forward to working hard to make it even better.”