Daily Reformer: Legislature is back; Walz wants to end childhood poverty
Photo courtesy of Minnesota House of Representatives Public Information Services .
Democrats take the helm of the trifecta today with a big agenda to enact, including education funding, abortion, gun control and voting rights. They have the resources to do it, but a one-seat Senate majority and some very hungry interest groups will make it harder than it looks.
House and Senate gavel in today at 1. Michelle Griffith will be our main person at the Capitol this year, although she’ll get plenty of help. Follow her on Twitter.
House Taxes is moving quickly on a bill to bring the state’s tax code into conformity with changes to federal law. New Taxes chair Aisha Gomez told me she hopes the Legislature will pass a quick conformity bill, which will help taxpayers, tax preparers and the Department of Revenue, and “demonstrate the good of the people of our state is more important than our partisan differences.”
Also on tap this week, Michelle tells me:
- A House hearing to codify abortion rights in law.
- Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, is proposing a bill to include inflation in the budget forecast. Stephenson is close to Speaker Melissa Hortman, so expect this bill to get some juice. This is a seemingly arcane provision that is a big deal around the Capitol.
Today at 1, SEIU is rallying to push lawmakers to approve drivers’ licenses for all, including undocumented people. Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan will attend.
Walz and childhood poverty
Walz and his fellow constitutional officers were sworn in Monday, and Walz’s second term agenda is finally coming into focus. Note this key section, according to prepared remarks:
Ending childhood poverty is a noble goal that’s tough to accomplish without help from the federal government, but we’re all ears over here at Reformer HQ. He can use the tax code, but a source in state government also tells me to expect a reorganization of agencies with children at the center.
The Democrats’ argument is that our advantage over low tax/bad services states in the Sun Belt is that we’re a good place to raise children. We have better schools, health care and a family-friendly environment, good jobs for the parents, and it’s all affordable.
Democrats have an opportunity to make that vision a reality for all Minnesotans during the next two years. It’s certainly a case many of us believe in, but they need to make it work. No more excuses.
In today’s Reformer, Deena Winter catches up with election deniers, who are still… skeptical, even after many of them worked the polls in November. Unfortunately, the horse has left the barn.
On the national scene: U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t appear to have the votes to become speaker just yet. Politico:
LOL what even? (Update: He didn’t win on the first ballot.)
OK, moving on: What was your favorite holiday moment?
My 5-year old said he must be on the “nice list” given the Magna-Tiles that arrived from St. Nick. It was a little maddening but also quite magical. I caught it on tape, too.
As usual, Deena’s right: “Licorice Pizza” is great. The 1970s were very weird.
Correspond: [email protected]
Have a great day all! JPC
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.
J. Patrick Coolican