Democrats and Republicans would both like to give Minnesota a tax cut.
After all, it is election year.
And both sides would like to say that they are doing their part to fight crime and improve the sense of security and trust in high-crime communities.
After all, we are at a moment when the fear of violent crime is high, and marks the two-year anniversary of the murder of George Floyd.
Instead, it looks like we’ll have to point the finger and settle for negative campaign rhetoric.
Minnesota politics now enters its next phase: the extended election season. And it’s starting to happen when the state capitol has unfinished business — and there’s no clear answer as to whether or not it will end.
Last week, lawmakers adjourned without finishing work that leaders on both sides had agreed to work on, including tax exemptions and law enforcement investments. And while it’s likely that they’ll be back to get their work done, nothing has been of note this week.
This is particularly disappointing for many lawmakers – and taxpayers – because it was not as if they were debating cutting services. More than $9 billion is being added to the state’s accounts that the state never had before.
Election season already?
There is no doubt that the election season will go on, with campaigns running throughout the summer, starting with social media and shifting to campaign fliers, TV commercials and knocking on doors.
State parties have supported their candidates. Tuesday is the last day to enter the office. Races are just about set.
On Thursday, both Democrats, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, filed; A few days ago, former State Sen. Scott Jensen and his running mate, former NFL player Matt Birk, filed as Republican-backed tickets.
Every seat in the Rajya Sabha and Senate from the Attorney General to Congress, candidates of other races have also filed or are about to file their papers. Same for candidates for many county, city and school board offices.
For some races, the August 9 primary will determine which candidate will advance to the November 8 general election. For many races, the primary will be formality.
what’s at stake
The scenario is also set: In Minnesota, no one knows which party — if either — will control the agenda, which can range from tax policy to abortion rights, to education spending to environmental regulations.
We’re a purple state, for starters: Statewide, Minnesota has been blue for years, but the Legislature is currently divided, and history and recent polling show that Republicans may benefit from President Joe Biden’s laxity amid economic uncertainty. Is.
We are in that moment once in a decade when every statewide Minnesota elected position, every U.S. House seat, every state legislative seat, and nearly every other county and local seat will be up for election based on geographic boundaries. The process is always the first election after the US Census.
In the legislature, mass elections also coincide with the wave of mass retirements, meaning many seats that have long been in power could be at play. In all, 51 MLAs – about 1 in 5 – are set to vacate their seats in search of retirement or other office.
But what can both newcomers and incumbent candidates do?
Achievements in this session were limited, and strategists on both sides are respecting his messages. And many of them are not excited.
At one point, it looked like the legislative session might have a happy ending.
Tax breaks and other goodies
Before the final week of the session, Walz, House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler and Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller appeared triumphantly before the Capitol to announce that they had reached a deal for that state surplus: in tax breaks. $4 billion and $4 billion in new spending. Additionally, an estimated $4 billion in future additional revenue will be uncommitted—either a fat safety valve or a gift to future lawmakers, depending on whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist.
Things went further when major Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement on a tax package. This included the end of the state income tax on Social Security payments that some Minnesotans currently pay. This is a gift to senior citizens, who vote in large numbers. Additionally, the package included a reduction in the first level of income tax. It is a gift to all those who pay income tax.
But the tax plan relied on lawmakers to reach agreement on several other spending plans, all of which included initiatives that elected officials could easily see as appeasing different constituencies:
- public security: Money to recruit, hire and retain police officers can please police unions and those concerned with violent crime. Funding for nonprofits and non-law-enforcement crime-prevention efforts would be a win for activists who don’t want to limit their solutions to badges and guns. It welcomed prospects in particular for Democrats who have made promises to those communities but know they are vulnerable to criticism from moderates and conservatives unless they also invest in traditional law enforcement. .
- Health and Human Services: Funding for nursing homes and long-term care centers will not only appeal to the industry, which is warning of the imminent closure of potentially dozens of facilities that have been hit hard by the pandemic, but also those with parents or grandparents. Anyone worried how their love is going to be taken care of as they age. The issue is particularly pressing in rural Minnesota.
- basic infrastructure: Borrowing more than $1.5 billion is the political bread and butter to fund public works projects. Construction and trade unions, local governments, state colleges and universities, and members of the public tired of outdated infrastructure are seen as beneficiaries of such work.
- education: Legislators who want to win the vote of parents in growing suburbs – often political battlegrounds – know that investing in education has a welcome campaign message. The perennial conflict is that fiscally conservative Republicans worry about rising government spending — and heed the requests of teacher unions, which Democrats support.
But they could not agree on anything.
Default: negative message
There is still a chance that a breakthrough could emerge – if talks resume in earnest.
Meanwhile, lawmakers on both sides are back in a common occurrence of Minnesota gridlock: the blame game.
For example, Republicans say Democrats weren’t honest about hiring more police, while Democrats are saying Republicans weren’t honest about investing in community crime-fighting programs.
And those kinds of messages seamlessly converge into a well-worn phenomenon of election campaigns: negative messages.
The first wave of messages has already been prepared, and according to briefings with political activists, they are pretty straightforward.
Expect Republicans to focus above all on an unstable economy and crime.
It’s debatable how much state policy has an impact on something like inflation, but Republicans want to underscore voters’ economic insecurities, which will remind them that if you want to blame one person, White The person in the House is a Democrat. It is also a fact that Minnesota remains among the high-tax-burdened states, and historically, it has been the Democrats who have supported higher taxes.
As for the offense, the darkest political Republican videos, which were featured by candidates vying to support the state party, show vivid images of the riots that erupted over the killing of Floyd. There will be figures in minor messages, such as large numbers of carjackings and shootings, all while probably trying to equate Democrats with the far-left-wing police movement. Either way, the logic goes something like this: Walz failed to suppress the riots swiftly, and Democratic lawmakers are more concerned with demonstrating police than with preventing crime.
Democrats could see an opening to use crime to their advantage, depending on recent developments — or lack thereof — in the Capitol.
While it is true that the two sides are pointing fingers at each other for the failure of the end-of-session talks, it is also true that for now it is the Democrats who pleaded for those talks to continue in the hope of reaching an agreement. which can be approved in a special session. Republicans, on the other hand, are dismissing the idea – although they haven’t completely closed the door on it. If Republicans don’t return to the table, Democrats may try to use it against them.
But the broader democratic message is a descendant of his national message that largely succeeded in 2020: We are a party of normalcy and conscience. Many Democratic strategists believe that Walz came through with the pandemic, while not completed, with a basic level of confidence from Minnesota. The argument would see Republicans as the party of former President Donald Trump and the crowd of supporters trying to deny that Biden won the election. In its darkest forms, videos of the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol may be shown.