MN Taxpayers Paying $240,000 per New Capitol Parking Spot To Improve The “View”

facepalm4crI feel sick. $7.2 Million to replace a surface lot with an underground ramp, with only 30 spaces…..

At that meeting, Bakk advocated for the underground garage, saying continued use of the surface parking lot at the northwest corner of the Capitol would mar the view from both the Capitol and the new Senate Office Building.

Bakk on Wednesday said that “I want to landscape up to the building. If we do not build (the underground garage), we will have a surface parking lot there. That is not the visual I want.”

But they can’t afford to pay for road and bridge repairs.

Capitol renovations, plus the new state of the art Senate Office building, plus this surprise las minute binding bill’s new parking ramp, is a half a billion dollars for part time legislators….

As I said, I feel sick.

Dayton’s Free Pre-School Push Scam

Here’s a glimpse at where the rubber meets the road in Governor Dayton’s latest union kickback initiative: All day pre-school. Source: ABC Newspapers

“Space and staffing are probably the big changes that would need to be made,” she said.

Space is at a premium in the Anoka-Hennepin School District.

Currently, Anoka-Hennepin provides preschool programming for 1,250 kids, about two-thirds of those 4-year-olds. With programming lasting only two to three hours on a given day, the district can use one classroom for multiple groups of students, which full-day preschool does not allow.

Almost 2,875 4-year-olds live in the district this year, according to census data. If the district maintains a similar number of 4-year-olds in 2016 and two-thirds of those kids enroll in pre-K, that means Anoka-Hennepin has to make space for almost 1,900 4-year-olds. Staffing at a 20:1 ratio would require 95 classrooms.

“While we welcome being able to support early learners, there are some significant space considerations that would have to be figured out,” Kerr said.

Currently, preschool classes are held in various elementary schools, the Educational Learning Center and strip malls across the district.

Dayton’s current funding source is one time surplus money and as the Anoka Hennepin administrators point out, it likely won’t even cover all the costs to actually implement this unneeded mandate. Where the funds will come from at the local level to cover the costs of finding more classrooms and facilities is unclear. So is where the funding will be found for future budget cycles.

Didn’t we just add all-day kindergarten? How much did that added mandate stress school district budgets? But more importantly, is it paying off?

If you ask me, this was just another payback for the unions by Dayton in return for them working so hard on his reelection.

Obamanomics In Practice – The New Normal

You keep hearing about how great the economy is doing. How jobs are being created and everything is back to normal. But the new normal is not like the old normal.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cash-strapped Americans anxious for tax refunds are increasingly turning to payment advances, prepaid cards or other costly services when getting tax preparation help, according to new federal data raising concerns among regulators about whether consumers are fully informed about the fees.

Regulators are looking to increase oversight of preparers amid the rise in “refund anticipation checks,” a type of cash advance especially popular among low-income families who receive the Earned Income Tax Credit, the government’s $65 billion cash benefit program. The advances are being marketed as a way to get fast refunds or defer payment of tax preparation costs.

It also happens to be a glaring example of irony. The same Government that is confiscating so much money from us that we are forced to scratch and claw and borrow to make ends meet, is worried that we are borrowing from high risk fraudsters to make ends meet.

There’s a solution to this whole problem, that will never be considered. Smaller Government.

Oh I know, without the nanny state, how will everyone get free E-14 schooling (notice I did’t say an E-14 education) and all those other entitlements?

We cannot afford the Government that has been forced upon us. That’s a factual, emotion free statement.

Job creation is now controlled by Government. They have made good paying full time, reliable jobs, a rarity. You can scream outsourcing and blame corporate America, but the fact is if Government hadn’t created the red tape, they’d happily allow people to work more than 30 hours a week as one example of the new normal of Obama’s Economy.

The American economy looks nothing like it did 8 years ago. Through the ashes of the recession, Marxism took root. A centrally planned and controlled destruction of the free markets is in effect.

This new, fundamentally transformed America, sure seems to have created more people screaming for more free stuff. Then again, socialism is not supposed to solve problem, its designed to identify and shine the spot light on them.

Creating a dependent is far more important than solving the problem. Because if you solve the economic effects that made someone need help and get that person a job, you can’t continue to run government for the sole purpose of maintaining power. You’d eventually be able to cut taxes to the point where there is enough capital out in the markets to create jobs for those in need. If someone did fall through the cracks and need additional help, people would have plenty of money left over from low taxes and low product costs to be true good samaritans and help their fellow man.

Instead, the definition of compassion in Obama’s America is now demanding Government confiscate other people’s property to give others what you think will make them happy.

This new normal of liberal economics sure seems to have a whole lot of unhappy people who complain about all the things they don’t have or can’t afford.

How is higher taxes and more regulation going to lower the cost of raising a family or provide a good paying job?

If we are now going to be a society based on always needing another bailout, another credit card to max out, a windfall of tax refunds, lottery, etc etc. we are screwed. Then again, if we need those things, we also need politicians to provide us with more and more entitlements and handouts.

Welcome to the new normal. Where your choices are determined for you.

Give It All Back – 42% Budget Growth Is Too Much

There apparently is controversy in the GOP ranks at the Capitol on what to do with the $2 billion surplus for some reason. This shocks me. I mean how could you not instinctively just say, give it all back?

An opening hand of anything less than 100% give it all back is disappointing and won’t sit well with the public in 365 days when Legislators once again face activists and voters.

The rate of growth in stats spending under Governor Dayton is mind blowing. The very first budget that he begrudgingly signed for 2010-11 was $30 billion. His proposed 206-17 budget starts at $42.5 Billion.

THAT’S A $12.5 BILLION INCREASE IN UNDER DAYTON!

A 42% spending increase under Gov.Dayton! 

MN budget 20 yr chart

Any Republican offer that includes any of the budget surplus is a stamp of approval to the ginormous spending increases from Dayton and Democrats over the last 4 years.

I know it is not easy to “cut”. I know the press and the minions on the left will hammer any Republican who dares to return money back to the hard working people of Minnesota. I do. Its going to make being a Legislator uncomfortable trying to reduce or at least freeze state spending.

Failure to give it all back is only going to galvanize the DFL stranglehold on power in this state.

Dayton’s Unsustainable Budgeting

The Minnesota budget has increased 200% over the last 20 years. I created this chart that shows the growth is Minnesota’s general fund spending since 1992. I included the percent increase because its shocking. (Budget numbers are from MMB)

MN budget 20 yr chart

Governor Dayton is proposing 2 different spending numbers.

Proposed budget: $42,497,000

Transportation plan: 10 year spending: $8.731 / 10 = $0.8731 per year making his budget actually: $43,370,000

 

His budget, and the extra taxes on top of his budget for his transportation plan which is the only way he will fix our crumbling roads and bridges, would add either a 7% increase or a 10% spending increase.

Oh I know. a $10 billion increase in State Spending since Dayton took office “sounds” like a lot of money……..

Take a look at what Minnesota’s budget since 1992 would look like with just cost of living adjustments.

3% COLA Growth
1992-93 (Actual) $14,496,834.00
1994-95 $14,931,739.02
1996-97 $15,379,691.19
1998-99 $15,841,081.93
2000-01 $16,316,314.38
2002-03 $16,805,803.82
2004-05 $17,309,977.93
2006-07 $17,829,277.27
2008-09 $18,364,155.59
2010-11 $18,915,080.25
2012-13 $19,482,532.66
2014-15 $20,067,008.64

 

MNSURE: A Textbook Example Of Why Not To Govern By Emotions

Of course no one wants people to suffer with out health care. No, there aren’t people who really want people to choose between health insurance and food.

But that doesn’t mean MNSure the State’s (Failed) Health Insurance Exchange – was a good way to prevent any of the tear jerking stories used by Governor Dayton (and President Obama) to enact MNSure the State’s (Failed) Health Insurance Exchange.

MNsure audit: ‘very silly’ turf battle contributed to issues
By David Montgomery – Pioneer Press

MNsure “fell far short” of its promises to provide an easy way for Minnesotans to buy health care in its first year, a harsh new audit has found.

“In its first year of operations, MNsure’s failures outweighed its achievements,” the Minnesota Office of Legislative Audit’s months-long review of Minnesota’s health insurance exchange concluded.

This report from the Minnesota Legislative Auditor confirms many of the claims opponents of MNSure the State’s (Failed) Health Insurance Exchange, had before it was even passed. Criticisms and input ignored by Governor Mark Dayton. Many of these problems could have been prevented. The report also exposes how there have been problems identified by 3rd party professional auditing firms that have also been ignored.

Hundreds of millions have already gone into MNSure the State’s (Failed) Health Insurance Exchange. How much more will they need to have something that will work? And mind you, long before MNSure the State’s (Failed) Health Insurance Exchange became law of the law in Minnesota, well over 90% of Minnesotans had health insurance.

How much more expensive is this affordable health insurance going to be? 

You can find the report on the MN Legislative Auditor’s website by clicking here.

Friends of Dayton Raises Hit MNSure – Pathetic 12% Enrollment Rate Means Big Raises For MNSure Board

If MNSure (Minnesota’s FAILED Health Insurance Exchange) Were A Corporation, Would Lori Swanson Sue? After all, she does have an affinity for suing companies that take advantage of people who happen to receive some preferential or financial assistance from taxpayers.

MNSure is a pathetic failure. Aside from the website being a $200 million joke, the Dayton dream health insurance program is wildly unpopular and failing way short of enrollment goals.

In private sector (AKA: a “real” market place) words: No one is buying and the company would already be bankrupt with everyone fired and criminal investigations for where all the money went would be underway

But in Government work, you get raises! $125,000 in raises for not even coming close to fulfilling enrollments. Originally, MNSure promised over 400,000 users. They downgraded that projection to 100,000 at the beginning of the year and again down to 67,000 in December. Well, 2 days before the deadline, they were at only 50,000 users. (That’s roughly 12% of the original enrollment targets used to sell this program. This few users means that the revenue generated from the taxes added to those policies are not coming in. Which means the program can’t sustain itself. )

Here is a letter from Rep. Greg Davids to the MNSure CEO Scott Leitz for more information.

MNsure2.16

Source: MN House GOP Research

Employee 2013 Compensation
(prorated full year)
2014 Compensation Change Change %
Barber, Carley $89,716 $99,532 $9,816 10.94%
Burns, Katherine $129,314 $151,940 $22,626 17.50%
Cammack, Martin Not Provided Not Provided
Campbell, Joseph - $103,737
Drinkwine, Jodi $70,798 $74,376 $3,578 5.05%
Fink, Krista Jean-Guinn $89,386 $103,381 $13,995 15.66%
Kehner, Carol Ann $131,534 $142,148 $10,614 8.07%
Kennedy, Jessica $83,874 $90,839 $6,965 8.30%
Minikel, Stephen $89,536 $118,715 $29,179 32.59%
Nyanjom, John $88,184 $96,197 $8,013 9.09%
Reich, John $119,186 $126,775 $7,589 6.37%
Turpin, Michael $118,630 $125,364 $6,734 5.68%
Van Sant, David $87,546 $93,730 $6,184 7.06%
Wessel, Christina - $96,451
Total $125,293

 

Another $2.3 Million For Roads & Bridges

I may have to start keeping track of all the waste I am finding that could be used for roads and bridges. Who knows if it would come in handy if *I* ever decided to run for something.

Zip Rail to Rochester outline starts up the track

[Source: Strib] Transportation agencies outlined potential routes and made the case for a controversial high-speed rail from the Twin Cities to Rochester in a plan released Tuesday.

[…]

The first phase of studies costs $2.3 million and has been paid for by the state and Olmsted County Regional Rail Authority. No other funding has been secured for the project, Pidaparthi said.

Nor should it receive the $2.3 million FOR FIRST PHASE OF STUDIES!!!!!!

No one in Government gets to tell me there just isn’t enough money to fix congestion with out taxes when Government is wasting money on studies for trains.

Bi-Partisan Taxation Without Representation – et tu Housley?

This one has smoke billowing out of my ears.

Bill would extend Minn. school district power to tax for repairs, avoid voter approval

Because less accountability in education administration and management will solve the problem of a system designed a century ago that is refusing to adapt to the times…. or something.

FOREST LAKE, Minn. — Opening a hatch in the gym floor at Forest Lake Elementary, Brandon Perry looked down at the web of heating pipes below. Any issue with the school’s more than 60-year-old heating system, and Perry or another custodian has to climb down and wriggle through the maze to search out the problem.

Didn’t the state just spend billions a few years ago to green up school buildings or something?

A longstanding school funding law allows 25 Minnesota school districts to raise residents’ property taxes for maintenance funds without direct voter approval. The rest of the districts, including Forest Lake, don’t have that luxury. That’s led to a big gap in funding among districts for things like carpet replacement, security upgrades and heating and cooling modernization.

State Sen. Kevin Dahle wants to change that arrangement, extending the taxation power to districts statewide. He and other bill proponents call it a matter of fairness. Most of the 25 districts on the list are in the metro area. Some didn’t meet the list’s criteria but were added simply because legislators got them on.

But you could just remove the preferential treatment of the 25 to make it fair. After all, equality is akin to fairness we are often told in the media.

“It’s not fair. A building ages the same across the state,” said state Sen. Karin Housley, a Republican who represents Forest Lake and co-authored the Dahle bill.

I think Karin Housley is one of the most tone deaf Republican politicians I have seen. It was why a certain Republican Governor candidate was dead last on my list of choices. Probably a very nice person, but not a statewide ticket asset nor someone I would want speaking for me, when it comes to the left right debate in Minnesota.

Yes, Democrats like Sen. Dahle are going to come up with really bad ideas and find some emotional tear jerking way to make it sound like a good idea. Those that fall for the gimmick and remove accountability and strengthen the bureaucracy of the nanny state should be ashamed of themselves.

I know, rather pointed attack at Sen. Housley, but I would consider removing the right to be self governed an insult.  

Once Bitten Twice Bakk’ed

Why Build One SLOB When You Could Have 2 At Twice The Price

(Video: Jump to the 2:10 mark for the sound clip)


The taxpayers of Minnesota are still reeling from the effects of total Democrat control of State Government. One of the things they railroaded through was the Senate Legislative Office Building or SLOB. This was the $90 Million new office building that Sen. Majority Leader Tom Bakk, a Democrat, claimed was needed because there wasn’t going to be enough room in the Capitol for Senators after the needed restoration.

Governor Dayton called the SLOB “unMinnesotan” yet he signed it into law. It was hastily passed. And Democrats actually spent more on their own extravagant new offices than they did on roads and bridges last session via the bonding bill.

Well, the bill was passed without any input or transparency and surprise surprise, we are now finding out the Democrats are quickly changing their plans because it was incredibly flawed. Democrats are now trying to force an agreement that allows them to keep office space in the Capitol.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said a tentative agreement on space allocation had been reached with former DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen. With Republicans now in charge of the House, Bakk said the new speaker needed to get up to speed on those earlier decisions.

Oh you mean Bakk and House Majority Democrats were making plans on carving up the extra Capitol space last session with out informing the Republicans that there was going to be extra space left in the Capitol?

Why did we need to spend $90 million on an extravagant new office building again?

You can find the blue prints and more details on the duplicitous nature of how the Democrats have been double billing taxpayers for the privilege to have an office at or near the Capitol.

MNSRC: CAPITOL BLUEPRINTS: Duplicate Offices for Senators

And because I think you need to remember that when a Democrat politicians’ lips are moving chances are they are trying to distract you from what they are doing. These are the same Democrats in the Senate who now want to raise taxes on you by hundreds of millions of dollars a year to pay for the road and bridge repairs they have been ignoring for years.

They have been planning for their own posh accommodations, but not our roads.

Democrat Senate Majority Leader Bakk wants taxpayers to get soaked so his fellow Senators can have 2 offices and Dayton agrees. They are now trying to force Speaker Daudt into just signing the agreement he and fellow House or Senate Republicans were not even informed or included in.

Oh and don’t forget,the horse traded to get the House to sign on to the $90 million office building, the Senate had to agree to the House’s minimum wage increase that will cost employers in Minnesota a billion and/or Minnesotans their jobs.