A new poll, commissioned by the Bush Foundation, found that two thirds of those surveyed are not happy with the budget agreement that ended a 21 day state government shutdown. The poll also found that a majority of those polled think the state is headed in the wrong direction.
Governor Dayton and the GOP-controlled Legislature shut down state government for three weeks because they were at odds over the best way to balance the state's two year budget. The two sides agreed to cut spending, borrow against future tobacco payments and delay payments to K12 schools to erase the deficit. The poll found that a majority of Minnesotans weren't happy with that deal.
"The poll made it very clear that people were unhappy about any sort of shift or borrowing against the future," The Bush Foundation's C. Scott Cooper said. "People much preferred to deal with the problem now, face it head on and tackle it."
Cooper, with the Bush Foundation, says the polling is consistent with the results the group gathered from a number of focus groups conducted by the Bush Foundation on the state budget. He said they held town hall meetings in Grand Rapids, Rochester and Bloomington to gauge how the state's budget problems should be addressed.
The poll also found that 54 percent of those surveyed think a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases are needed if the state faces another deficit. At the same time, 80 percent of those polled think making government services more efficient should be "the most central piece" or "a major part" of the solution.
The findings are consistent with other polling that shows the public wants to see lawmakers rein in government spending but balk when the focus of those cuts turns to popular and expensive programs. Cooper said the results from the focus groups were more nuanced. For example, he said some were willing to make sacrifices in order to see things get better.
"People want the reform and they're willing to pay the price in the short-term if they think we can get the reforms in the long-term," Cooper said.
The most striking result from the poll is the dissatisfaction that the general public has about their quality of life. 40 percent of those polled said they believed the quality of their lives was getting worse. Nicole Martin Rogers, a researcher with polling group Wilder Research, said that was a 17 percentage point increase from a similar poll done in December.
Both Governor Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are working to show that they understand the frustration. Dayton is scheduled to launch a statewide jobs tour to discuss ways to improve the state's economy. Republicans in the Minnesota House are scheduled to hold a news conference on Thursday morning to discuss what they have characterized as "the start of the "Reform 2.0" agenda for the 2012 legislative session."
The two sides disagree on the best way to tackle some of the key issues facing the state.
Dayton has been pushing for a mix of spending cuts and income tax increases on Minnesota's top earners to solve the state's budget problems over the long-term. Republicans have rejected tax hikes of any kind and say the focus needs to be on cutting government spending.
The poll was conducted between August 1 and August 4. It has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.
Here's the poll.
Here's the report from The Bush Foundation.
A new poll says a majority of Minnesotans aren't happy with the budget deal that ended the state government shutdown. A large number of Minnesotans also say their quality of lives is getting worse and a majority of those polled say they think the state is on the wrong track. The poll was conducted by the Bush Foundation.
The Star Tribune snags an interview with Gov. Dayton regarding his jobs tour.
Tidbit: Dayton rescheduled his first jobs event. It will be next Wednesday instead of Friday. Dayton is attending a funeral on Friday.
Republicans in the Minnesota House are scheduled to hold a news conference on Thursday morning to discuss what they have characterized as "the start of the 'Reform 2.0' agenda for the 2012 legislative session."
The Star Tribune says more of the state's kids are in poverty.
Minnesota issued $60 million in bonds for a 911 system.
Iron ore shipments on the Great Lakes are up sharply.
Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage
The Campaign Finance Board ruled that some political ads are not subject to campaign law. The ads in question were financed by the National Organization for Marriage during the 2010 election and dealt with the same-sex marriage issue.
The Star Tribune says Minnesotans should get ready for a 15 month brawl over the issue.
The Pi Press says stadium tax foes are plotting a vote strategy to sink the proposal.
The Washington Post says President Obama will present a jobs plan in September that includes "tax cuts for companies that hire workers, new spending for roads and construction, and other measures that would target the long-term unemployed."
The U.S. is investigating S&P for improperly rating dozens of mortgage securities.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is demanding answers to an allegation that America's top financial regulator has destroyed thousands of preliminary investigation records.
A report finds that the Army improperly tested body armor plates.
The newest stretch of Highway 610 will open on Friday. DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar is mentioned.
DFL Sen. Al Franken is replacing his chief of staff.
Franken will attend a forum in Cottage Grove.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson questioned the federal biofuels plan.
A group that includes organized labor and Take Action Minnesota protested Speaker John Boehner's fundraiser in Wayzata.
Race for U.S. Senate
Pawlenty won't challenge DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar in 2012.
"I don't know what I will be doing next," Pawlenty said in an email to The Associated Press. "However, I will not be running against Amy in 2012."
Race for President
President Obama says he "won't sign pledges."
The White House is also working to paint the GOP field with a Tea Party brush.
The head of the AFL-CIO says labor will support Obama.
Mitt Romney starts courting the Tea Party.
The Family Research Council says GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann has confirmed for the Values Voters Summit in October.
Bachmann says gas will be $2 a gallon if she's elected.
Politico says Bachmann's staffers are roughing up reporters on a daily basis.
A New Hampshire poll finds that Bachmann didn't get a bounce in that state after she won the Iowa Straw Poll.
A Bachmann Super PAC has formed.
A Bachman staffer was arrested on a terrorism charge in Uganda in 2006.
Time takes a look at how Texas Gov. Rick Perry aggressively pursued federal aid he now criticizes.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to dispel rumors that he's running for POTUS.
The New York Times says bashing the EPA is a new GOP theme.
No Digest on Friday.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann has asked for another 45 days to file her financial disclosure report with the Federal Election Commission. The attorney for Bachmann's presidential campaign, William McGinley, told the FEC that they were "working diligently to obtain the required information" but that they need more time. He wrote in the letter that the campaigned needed "additional time to discuss some disclosure questions with the Office of Government Ethics and to ensure that the SF-278 is complete and accurate."
This is the second time Bachmann's campaign has asked for a 45-day extension. McGinley used the same arguments when he sought a 45-day extension in July.
Lawrence Calvert Jr. with the Federal Elections Commission, approved both requests but said federal law allows candidates to request two 45-day extensions of time for filing.
"Accordingly, I will be unable to grant any further requests for extensions of time," Calvert wrote to McGinley.
Bachmann now has to file her report by the close of business on October 6.
The candidates for President are required to file Financial Disclosure reports. The information helps the public gauge where the candidates makes their money.
Bachmann also filed a report with the U.S. House of Representatives in August that detailed that she is worth at least $912,000. Her largest assets are her clinic property in Minnesota and a family farm in Wisconsin
Here are the forms filed with the FEC.1 Comments)
Posted at 12:06 PM on August 18, 2011
by Tim Pugmire
Filed under: MN Legislature
Republicans in the Minnesota House are promising to push for additional state-government reforms during the 2012 Legislative session, which begins in five months.
They held a news conference today to announce their plan to gather input from Minnesotans during the State Fair and other venues in the coming weeks and months. The GOP list of potential improvements already includes lowering taxes and reducing government regulations. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said there are mandates and duplicative government functions that have outlived their usefulness.
"We have a 1960s jalopy that practically has a crank where you have to turn the engine to get it going," Zellers said. "We put some new paint, we add some fancy mirrors on it, maybe some new rims. But it's still the same old chug along engine. We need to change the way government works."
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said he too wants to enact smart reforms next year. But he said Republicans need to work across party lines and put people ahead of corporate special interests.