This is for you, Bud

In today's economy, a high school education is no longer enough. A successful career usually requires strong basic education and advanced skills. Too often, talent goes undeveloped and potential is unrealized because families can't afford the education their children need. 

Enter Budweiser. Really. Budweiser has posted a moving video in which actor Adam Driver delivers an education scholarship to the deserving daughter of a wounded veteran. The scholarship will pay her $44,000 (gulp!) tuition bill so she can complete nursing school.

We congratulate this young woman, who can now pursue her dreams and give back to others because she is both worthy and very, very lucky. But how many of us can count on Adam Driver to bring a check?

Smart, dedicated young people should not have to hope Budweiser-or some other corporate entity or charity-will give them a chance to succeed in life. Their government should help them because their success helps us all. Minnesota should offer two years of free post-high school education for every Minnesota student, so they can make their dreams happen and make us all proud.

A Mugging on the Corner

Years ago, I was attacked on a Minneapolis street corner by a group of girls who wanted my purse. I was coming from my waitress job and was not about to part with the few tips I had earned. They beat me up but did not get the purse. After that I took up karate. Self-defense is a basic need and a right under Minnesota law.
 
The desire to protect self and family is why many people want a gun: a gun in the home, a gun at the workplace, a gun carried on the person. But America is awash in guns, and they have not made us safer. Too often, they kill or injure their owners or other innocent people-either accidentally or intentionally. Too often, an impulse that could pass becomes a suicide when a person has easy access to a gun.

Reducing gun violence in Minnesota should start with making sure that people who can't safely handle guns-like criminals, the mentally unstable, and children-don't get access. We need common-sense laws-like universal background checks-to keep guns out of the wrong hands. No policy works perfectly, but we can still take steps to reduce injury and death from firearms. 

We all deserve to feel safe and secure. The gun lobby pushes extreme policies and stokes fears in order to sell more and more guns. As governor, I'll stand up to the gun lobby and support reasonable gun laws that make all Minnesotans safer.

Pay Us What We're Worth

We Minnesotans are hard workers and our state's many successes show it, but too many feel themselves on a speeding treadmill they can't get off. Many work two or three jobs-without benefits-just to survive. There's little job security, health insurance is an expensive nightmare, education and training are out of reach, and retirement is a luxury many can't afford.
 
In 2016, Bernie Sanders told us that the economy is rigged. It's still rigged! From 1973 to 2014, working people raised their productivity by 72%, but the typical worker's pay and benefits went up just 9% over the same 41 years. (Where did the extra go? CEO pay went up over 940%.) No wonder so many hard-working Minnesotans feel so desperate.
 
What can Minnesota government do to unrig the economy? Plenty! First, raise the minimum wage! Require earned sick leave and paid family leave! Offer free college or technical training! Deliver universal, single-payer health care, so everyone gets the care they need and no one has to limit work or stay in the wrong job just to keep affordable insurance! Strengthen collective bargaining rights!

Minnesota can deliver policies that lift up our workers and their families. As governor, I'll fight to make Minnesota a place where work really pays.

The Personal Became Political

June is Pride month.
 
We have come a long way in Minnesota and in our nation. Being openly Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer is safer and more widely accepted than it once was—and as it still is in many parts of the world. I've been privileged to see things improve and to have helped make positive changes in the Minnesota legislature.
 
That terrible day in May 2011, when the Republican-controlled Minnesota legislature voted to put marriage on the ballot, galvanized people across the state. The cry for dignity and recognition of the humanity of LGBTQ people was a powerful motivator. People who had never been active in politics found themselves phoning strangers to discuss their own lives and the lives of their families. The personal became political and the political, personal. Love won at the polls and—after some prodding—the new DFL legislature made love the law in 2013.

The struggle is not over. Republicans control the legislature now, as they did then. They have filed bills for the "religious freedom" to discriminate and gave a committee hearing to a bathroom "privacy" bill. As Governor, I will stand strongly on the side of LGBTQ people, and all people fighting for the right to live their lives in freedom and dignity, and I will veto any bills that try to push LGBTQ people back into second-class status.

 

A Nickel for Lunch

My father grew up on the streets of Brooklyn, the son of immigrants. His dad-the grandfather I never met-would leave home each day with a nickel in his pocket. If he found work that day, he used the nickel for lunch. If not, he brought the nickel home.
 
Years later, my dad went to school on the GI Bill, moved to Minnesota, and became a photographer. He took his kids around the state as he documented the lives of Minnesotans. In these people-farmers, factory workers, people waiting at bus stops in the dead of winter, people in state hospitals, people of all ages, colors, and backgrounds-he saw the same struggle and heroism he grew up with in Brooklyn. He passed along to me a deep commitment to stand with them. I'm thinking of him, and of all our heroes, on this Father's Day.
 
Standing with the heroes of Minnesota means fighting for health care-not insurance-that everyone can access and afford. Standing with the heroes of Minnesota means fighting for an economy that isn't rigged for the wealthy and well-connected. Standing with the heroes of Minnesota means removing the barriers that keep them from getting ahead.
 
This summer I'm hitting the road, much like my dad did many years ago, to visit Minnesotans where they live and work and to talk about my vision of a Minnesota that lifts us all.

Statement: Yanez Trial Verdict

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Philando Castile, and to all who mourn him. His killing was a tragedy that should not have happened and the verdict today brings back the pain and horror of that day. While I share the outrage of many over the unnecessary killing and its aftermath, I do not blame the jury or even Officer Yanez. The law itself is to blame, and this is something that can and must be changed.

Minnesota law allows police to use deadly force "only when necessary to protect the peace officer or another from apparent death or great bodily harm" and to prevent death or great bodily harm to others. Whether the officer believes the force is "necessary" is examined only in the moment when the officer reacts, and it is hard for a jury to find beyond reasonable doubt that the officer did not have that fear at the moment he fired the gun.

Our law should require officers to avoid creating the situation in the first place-and police agencies should train and reward them for doing so. The officer's first obligation should be to protect the life and safety of everyone involved in an incident-whether a suspect, victim, or the officer-as it is in many other nations. This may mean waiting for backup before approaching a vehicle, setting up a perimeter and waiting out a suspect, or similar tactics. If we are to reduce the horrible killings of innocent people by police, we must change our laws.

StatementAnita Fraser
Kilometers are Shorter than Miles

"Kilometers are shorter than miles. Save gas, take your next trip in kilometers."

With the legislative session over (for now), I am spending the summer traveling Minnesota (perhaps in kilometers, at the suggestion of comedian George Carlin), talking with people about how I believe our state can stay competitive and progressive after the 2018 election. We know that progressive policies are good for Minnesota and the nation, yet we have lost power in state governments around the country. There are only 16 Democratic governors left in the United States!
 
Republicans will control the Minnesota Senate through 2020, and they have a 20 seat majority in the Minnesota House. We will work hard to flip the House in 2018, but there is no guarantee. That's why we MUST elect a progressive DFL governor who will stand firm when the going gets rough.
 
In the state of the great Senator Paul Wellstone, we know that the way to win elections is by being true to our values and standing up for them, fighting for the things we believe in. We can't put our heads down and hope to avoid criticism. We must lay out our vision and defend it: Healthcare for all! Workers rights! Equality and opportunity! Living wages! Protect our water, air, land, and climate! This and so much more can happen if we stand together. 

Legislators agree on one thing: Session had unprecedented ending

From: Post Bulletin, Matthew Stolle

Excerpt:

At the forum, DFL Rep. Tina Liebling of Rochester called the GOP tactic an effort to restrain the governor's veto power by "booby-trapping the bill."

Though Liebling has stated she opposed Dayton's move on constitutional grounds, she said the GOP provision was also unconstitutional.

"If the governor vetoed the tax bill, that would have shutdown the Department of Revenue. That effectively shuts down government," Liebling said. "So this was a hostage-taking really and very unconstitutional in itself."

Read the full article

PressLindsay Jones
Republican leaders booby traps bills, take Minnesota hostage. Budget threatens Minnesota’s future.

SAINT PAUL, MN – Yesterday, Governor Mark Dayton signed the majority of Minnesota’s two year state budget while line item vetoing the appropriations for the state legislature.

Rep. Tina Liebling (Rochester), the DFL-Health Policy Committee Lead, released the following statement:

“Speaker Kurt Daudt and the Republican legislative majority took Minnesota government hostage taking this week by planting a booby trap in the State Government Finance Bill to “insure” (as Speaker Daudt put it) Governor Dayton’s signature on their bloated, irresponsible tax bill.  The unconscionable and unconstitutional booby trap could have ended every function of state government by triggering a shutdown of the Minnesota Department of Revenue if Dayton vetoed the Republican tax bill. In response to the hostage-taking, Governor Dayton decided to pay the ransom by signing the tax bill.  He then responded in kind by vetoing the legislature’s entire budget.

“With their irresponsible, dark-of-night decisions the Republican legislature has put Minnesota on the road to future deficits that threaten everything Minnesotans value, including education, transportation, and a health care system that takes care of the elderly and those in need.”

Rep. Tina Liebling is the DFL Lead on the House Committee on Health and Human Services Reform.  

Health Care when You Need it

We all need health care, but few of us can afford a major illness or accident. The Affordable Care Act did a lot of good, but for many people insurance is still not affordable, and even when we have it we can't always get care. Minnesotans don't need health insurance. We need high-quality, affordable health care that is there when we need it.

Every other developed country is doing it and we can, too. I've worked on Minnesota's health system for over 10 years so I know we can do better.   Whether we call it Universal Health Care, Medicare-for-All, or Single-Payer health care, Minnesota can lead the way to a healthcare system focused on your health, not your wallet. I am running for Governor because I believe Minnesota can deliver real health care security: the security of knowing you can get care you need when you need it, without worrying about the bills.  

As Governor, I will stand up to the insurance companies that stand between you and the care you need.