St. Paul, Minn.—Senate DFL Caucus Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) has released the following statement in response to Governor Mark Dayton’s final State of the State speech.
“Governor Dayton has worked tirelessly to create a better Minnesota during his tenure as governor. I thank and applaud the Governor for his commitment to a fiscally responsible state budget now and into the next biennium,” Bakk said.
“Our state has prospered under his leadership,” Bakk said. “Minnesota’s prosperity was not guaranteed. In 2011, Governor Dayton inherited a $6 billion budget deficit, a $2 billion E-12 school payment shift, and not a penny in the state budget reserve. His vision led our state out of the fiscal crisis left behind by Governor Tim Pawlenty. Working with the DFL-controlled legislature, Governor Dayton balanced the budget, repaid our schools and replenished our state’s budget reserve.”
“Governor Dayton is right, we can do better. We have seen our nation-leading rate of those with health insurance tumble, our state pension obligations go unmet, and our state employee contracts have languished since Republicans took charge of the full Minnesota legislature. Students are carrying too much of the financial burden of higher education on their backs. I look forward to working with the Governor in his final year in office to address the challenges our great state still faces.”