Legislature OKs public works bill, but Pawlenty promises veto

Even before the Minnesota House and Senate voted on a $1 billion public works bill Monday night, Gov. Full Story
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redeemer

Saint Paul, MN

#165 Feb 23, 2010
America the Great wrote:
<quoted text>
You're quite right Redeemer; a growing number of people in these professions are not Americans.
Alas, our countrymen are wasting everybody's time on how much money teachers make, why can't we fire them, why are we giving schools all this taxpayer money, blah, blah, blah.
What we really should be doing is looking at what other counties do for K-12 education; countries like India (corned the market on doctors and computer experts), Japan (best in science lately), and China (several goods are manufactured there and sent here to the U.S.)
We should ask ourselves if our school curriculum and organizational structure is 21st century or 19th century. American students spend the fewest days in school of most industrialized nations.
And we should pay special attention to classroom sizes, which we already know the smaller the classroom, the more students succeed.
Instead, what we're really advocating for is privatizing K-12 schools. Funny, the Catholic Archdiocess has closed a lot of private K-12 schools in the Twin Cities since 2006. But, that fact really won't make much of a difference to anybody.
Thank you. you are a gentleman and a scholar,and keep up the good fight
you are kicking there as's.
Sage

Saint Paul, MN

#166 Feb 23, 2010
America the Great wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh come off of it already. K-12 education's state budget has gradually shrunk since Jesse Ventura was elected Governor.(Yes, not all the K-12 cuts owe thanks to Pawlenty). Everybody knows this. Why do you think so many school districts have been having all these referendums in the past 10 years?
By the way, K-12 is not a solvable argument because nobody really wants to reform K-12, including and especially you. If we really wanted to make our schools better we'd copy the Chinese and Japanese models where those schools are producing the top minds. Are we going to do that? No.
If we really wanted to reform schools, we'd shrink classroom sizes to about 12-16 students, which everybody in educational policy knows helps students achieve better test scores. Are we going to do that? No.
If we really wanted to reform schools, we'd put more money and emphasis into English writing and proficiency skills. Where do we put our money? Into sports and computer programs.
The only alternative people seem more likely to support is changing schools from public ones to private ones. This doesn't insure the schools will perform better; it simply means people like you and Billy Bob won't have to pay for it.
Typical rhetoric, "We need more money!" America's top two percent can compete with any other country's top two percent. What hinders our public schools is the dumbed down curricula, revisionist history, political correctness that permeates our children's text books. A long with tenure protecting a great many sub-standard teachers. Not all teachers are created equally and I have no problem compensating them as such. And as for being underpayed, we should remember that their salaries generally only reflect a nine month school year and numerous holidays that most of us don't enjoy off. The Chinese and Japanese don't suffer fools, political correctness, nor misbehaving children in their schools. They use corporal punishment, and boy does it work wonders. As a country,(as of late), we tend to make excuses or even coddle our little juvenile delinquents, or blame the teacher and the system for their faults. Money is not always the answer...
Aaron

Minneapolis, MN

#167 Feb 23, 2010
America the Great wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh come off of it already. K-12 education's state budget has gradually shrunk since Jesse Ventura was elected Governor.(Yes, not all the K-12 cuts owe thanks to Pawlenty). Everybody knows this. Why do you think so many school districts have been having all these referendums in the past 10 years?
Don't know about you but the number seems to be going up not down. Also the staff to student ratio has gone up 70% since the 70's with no discernible improvement in performance.

$ billion Education-total
$ billion
1992 111.919 6.51
1993 114.946 7.06
1994 124.733 7.35
1995 131.357 8.08
1996 141.664 8.18
1997 154.087 8.54
1998 164.897 8.97
1999 172.874 9.67
2000 185.093 10.17
2001 190.231 10.64
2002 198.558 11.11
2003 208.179 11.41
2004 223.454 11.79
2005 232.802 11.98
2006 240.891 13.24
2007 252.472 14.13
2008 262.847 15.02
2009 264.231 16.00
2010 273.297 17.07
2011 287.603 18.24
2012 305.613 19.52
2013 324.677 20.93
2014 341.165 22.48

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/downchart...
Joe Merlot

Brooklyn, NY

#168 Feb 23, 2010
America the Great wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually Joe from Illionis, the State's Governor doesn't just provide the direction to the Legislature. If you bothered to look at our past Governors, they have all been actively involved in the discussion of the budget and bonding bill. Pawlenty is the only who hasn't. Even former Governor Arne Carlson said so, and he is a Republican.
Moreover, the Republicans in our Legislature voted FOR the GMAC Bill you think only the DFL voted for. What the Republicans actually said on NPR was that they would respect the Governor's veto and go back to the drawing board on the bill so that the Governor would support it.
As far as this current bonding bill goes, nobody has said they are against what the Governor proposed. What the DFL said was the Governor did not come to the table with his ideas or negotiate the bonding bill. This is true. The Governor wasn't there.
You don't have any facts to offer. These things I've mentioned are indisputable. You're the biased one. You're so mired in what you're afraid will or won't be passed that you're not even listening to what each side of the aisle actually said. The Republicans have no reason to lie to KNOW 91.1 Radio or Almanac. If they really thought GMAC and the bonding bill was that bad, don't you think the Republicans would have voted against it? Stop smoking crack and settle down.
FYI, the city reported with users on topics represents the location of the firewall, not the poster. I live in Stillwater, MN and have internet service through my condo so I have no control on where the firewall resides and it bounces me all over the place.

I'm sorry, but I'll have to respectfully disagree with you. Although the Governor may not be in a conference room with Larry and Margaret, he is clearly communicatig with the legislative leadership. I think it is disingeniune to suggest that the Governor is not involved in the legislative process and it's not abnormal for a government official to be conducting official business in thier duly elected capacity while they pursue other interests.

You are entitled to your opinion and I respect that. I simply don't agree with you and see things differently. I would respectfully submit that the difference in opinion probably doesn't have anything to do with crack use either.
More Taxes

Garfield, MN

#170 Feb 23, 2010
Jon wrote:
Worst Governor EVER! Let our elected officials do their job representing us you moron.
To bad he isn't a democrat he would rank in the top 5 governors, right! Oh thats right if he were a democrat he wouldn't be fiscally responsible so he'd sign all the bills and spend more money that we don't have.
Aaron

Minneapolis, MN

#171 Feb 23, 2010
"Public Sector vs. Private Sector Compensation
Table 1 shows average compensation per hour worked in state and local governments and the U.S. private sector.2 Public sector pay averaged $39.66 per hour in 2009, which was 45 percent higher than the private sector average. The public sector advantage was 34 percent in wages and 70 percent in benefits."

http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-59.pdf
Aaron

Minneapolis, MN

#172 Feb 23, 2010
Class War
How public servants became our masters

Steven Greenhut from the February 2010 issue

"In April 2008, The Orange County Register published a bombshell of an investigation about a license plate program for California government workers and their families. Drivers of nearly 1 million cars and light trucks—out of a total 22 million vehicles registered statewide—were protected by a “shield” in the state records system between their license plate numbers and their home addresses. There were, the newspaper found, great practical benefits to this secrecy.

“Vehicles with protected license plates can run through dozens of intersections controlled by red light cameras with impunity,” the Register’s Jennifer Muir reported.“Parking citations issued to vehicles with protected plates are often dismissed because the process necessary to pierce the shield is too cumbersome. Some patrol officers let drivers with protected plates off with a warning because the plates signal that drivers are ‘one of their own’ or related to someone who is.”

The plate program started in 1978 with the seemingly unobjectionable purpose of protecting the personal addresses of officials who deal directly with criminals. Police argued that the bad guys could call the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), get addresses for officers, and use the information to harm them or their family members. There was no rash of such incidents, only the possibility that they could take place.

So police and their families were granted confidentiality. Then the program expanded from one set of government workers to another. Eventually parole officers, retired parking enforcers, DMV desk clerks, county supervisors, social workers, and other categories of employees from 1,800 state agencies were given the special protections too. Meanwhile, the original intent of the shield had become obsolete: The DMV long ago abandoned the practice of giving out personal information about any driver. What was left was not a protection but a perk.

Yes, rank has its privileges, and it’s clear that government workers have a rank above the rest of us. Ordinarily, if one out of every 22 California drivers had a license to drive any way he chose, there would be demands for more police power to protect Californians from the potential carnage. But until the newspaper series, law enforcement officials and legislators had remained mum. The reason, of course, is that the scofflaws are law enforcement officials and legislators.

Here is how brazen they’ve become: A few days after the newspaper investigation caused a buzz in Sacramento, lawmakers voted to expand the driver record protections to even more government employees. An Assembly committee, on a bipartisan 13-to-0 vote, agreed to extend the program to veterinarians, firefighters, and code officers.“I don’t want to say no to the firefighters and veterinarians that are doing these things that need to be protected,” Assemblyman Mike Duvall (R-Yorba Linda) explained.

Exempting themselves from traffic laws in the name of a threat that no longer exists is bad enough, but what government workers do to the rest of us on a daily basis makes ticket dodging look like child’s play. Often under veils of illegal secrecy, public-sector unions and their political allies are systematically looting the public treasury with gold-plated pensions, jeopardizing the finances of state and local governments around the country, removing themselves from legal accountability, and doing it all in the name of humble working men and women just looking for their fair share. Government employees have turned themselves into a coddled class that lives better than its private-sector counterpart, and with more impunity. The public’s servants have become our masters."

http://reason.com/archives/2010/01/12/class-w...
Joe Merlot

Brooklyn, NY

#173 Feb 23, 2010
America the Great wrote:
<quoted text>
With all due respect, changing labor laws and making unions accountable more accountable is nice a sentiment, but in the long run, we have to ask ourselves do we want schools that will produce high calibur talent or do we just want schools to show that they are not wasting tax dollars.
If the answer is produce calibur talent, restructuring unions will save us money, but we're going to have the same problem -students underachieving.
If the answer is b, contain costs, show fiscal responsibility, blah, blah, then your proposal probably works, but we're still going to have underachieving students.
We really should take a hard look at what other successful industrialized countries are doing with K-12 education and restructure the entire school system based off of those models and are findings about implementing such models in the United States.
I do think that collective bargaining has a minimal impact of education quality, but tend to think many dramatically over state that point/concern. Having multiple children in the public school system for going on 8 years, we've had mostly positive assessments of the teachers we've encountered and the district has been responsive to issues. We've really on had one bad teacher experience out of 14, that's a pretty good raio in my opinion.

In reality, budget management and education quality are two primarily separate issues. I do think that the union contributes significantly to the budgetary problems, but are not the only problem.

Education quality is much more ellusive and I don't subscribe to the notion that more funding will improve that condition as we've never seen that happen. I tend to be of the mind that education quality is more about students and families than teachers and budget. We are actually very happy with out kids development and learning in the public school system, however, we make it a priority in our household. We help with homework, pay attention to tendancies, communicate with the teachers almost daily to share information on what we are seeing vs what they are. It works great and the kids are doing great, but it take a strong commitment not just from the teachers and schools but from families and students as well. You cannot replace family/student engagement with any amount of funding.
Not as Delusional as You

Burnsville, MN

#174 Feb 23, 2010
Aaron wrote:
<quoted text>
Don't know about you but the number seems to be going up not down. Also the staff to student ratio has gone up 70% since the 70's with no discernible improvement in performance.
$ billion Education-total
$ billion
1992 111.919 6.51
1993 114.946 7.06
1994 124.733 7.35
1995 131.357 8.08
1996 141.664 8.18
1997 154.087 8.54
1998 164.897 8.97
1999 172.874 9.67
2000 185.093 10.17
2001 190.231 10.64
2002 198.558 11.11
2003 208.179 11.41
2004 223.454 11.79
2005 232.802 11.98
2006 240.891 13.24
2007 252.472 14.13
2008 262.847 15.02
2009 264.231 16.00
2010 273.297 17.07
2011 287.603 18.24
2012 305.613 19.52
2013 324.677 20.93
2014 341.165 22.48
http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/downchart...
Don't confuse him with facts. "Everybody knows........."

It ain't what you know that gets you in trouble, its what you know that ain't so.......

JTY

Since: Sep 08

Lincoln, NE

#175 Feb 23, 2010
America the Great wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh come off of it already. K-12 education's state budget has gradually shrunk since Jesse Ventura was elected Governor.(Yes, not all the K-12 cuts owe thanks to Pawlenty). Everybody knows this. Why do you think so many school districts have been having all these referendums in the past 10 years?
By the way, K-12 is not a solvable argument because nobody really wants to reform K-12, including and especially you. If we really wanted to make our schools better we'd copy the Chinese and Japanese models where those schools are producing the top minds. Are we going to do that? No.
If we really wanted to reform schools, we'd shrink classroom sizes to about 12-16 students, which everybody in educational policy knows helps students achieve better test scores. Are we going to do that? No.
If we really wanted to reform schools, we'd put more money and emphasis into English writing and proficiency skills. Where do we put our money? Into sports and computer programs.
The only alternative people seem more likely to support is changing schools from public ones to private ones. This doesn't insure the schools will perform better; it simply means people like you and Billy Bob won't have to pay for it.
The amount of money spent on k-12 education (local on state level) has increased 36% over the last 10 years. Accounting for inflation and it is about a 9.8% increase in spending (using 2008 dollars). Now what you are talking about is the amount per studend spending has decreased .8% per year over the last 4 years. Prior to that it was increasing at a rate of about 1.3% per year.

Maybe we should look at where the money is being spent? 51% is going just to pay the teachers. That would be area #1 to find ways to trim that fat.
Billy Bob

Marietta, GA

#176 Feb 23, 2010
America the Great wrote:
<quoted text>
Bob, we actually had an owner of a construction company write in on this topic a few pages ago. Where have you been?
Moreover, do you really think our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan are not using weapons made from private manufacturers? How do you think our fighter planes, bombs, tanks, and ships got into the Persian Gulf? Did they magically appear out of nowhere?
Oh, that's right; you think the government has a factory in Detroit where they manufacture all of this up for free.
Who do you think rebuilt I-35W after it collasped? Rumpelstilskin? All of these things are contracted through the federal and state government. Your taxes pay for that.
This government thing isn't nearly as simply as you make it out to be Bob.
Like I said it's the typical liberal spin on everything thats said. This whole thing started out over the bonding bill. Never at anytime did I say anything about legitimate uses of our tax dollars. Having served in the military I'm well aware of where these items come from. Usually from overpriced contractors. I don't believe any of these items that you state to try and get sympathy for your cause are covered in the bonding bill. Roadway repairs and infastructure go ahead and bond away. Cultural centers and park improvements not a great time. Tax incremental financing to bring jobs into the state. Have at it. Lets see if we can first cut that much from the budget in pork and departmental cuts. You want to sit back and tell me oh we had a guy who owns a construction company on earlier and he explained all that. He simply related his experience and hopefully it was honest not made up. Do you sir honestly believe that we get our money's worth on state construction projects. Do you think that the state goverment is right sized and not bloated with redundancy and useless departments. Do you think all the social welfare programs are run with fairness to the taxpayers who fund them? People take advantage of the states loose control over all these programs. I think people in minnesota want the most for their money, and sadly right now were along way from that. Every $1 of our money that wasted taken through fraud or simply squandered on things that we cannot afford right now are an affront to the hard working people in this state. Anything less than tight fisted control over our tax dollars is unacceptable.
reed

Duluth, MN

#177 Feb 23, 2010
It’s clear that newspapers would be among the biggest losers if the Vikings did move. three of the four biggest page view days in startribune.com history were Vikings-related.

The dynamic has me wondering if any state daily will take a flier and oppose a stadium, or at least not panic about how much time is left

While construction costs and interest rates are down, the total price tag is $650 million for a 64,000-seat, open-air facility,$870 million for one with a retractable roof. Bagley says that making a stadium happen would require funding from the state of $29 million to $42 million a year over 30 years, with the final tab depending on whether there’s a retractable roof or not.

We have about 5 million people in the state, and half of those people in the state were watching - or listening to or attending or following on the internet - the Minnesota Vikings. And there’s never been more people following the Vikings than there are today.

Right. The Mall of America Field was a great deal, and thank God they stepped up for naming rights, and for a modest fee, because they are good business partners. But with that deal, we are still at the bottom of the NFL for revenue. The model of the Metrodome does not work any longer. It’s the smallest stadium in the NFL,[in] square footage. It’s less than a million square feet. It’s the second-oldest without a renovation, and the footprint is too small. There’s not enough to generate revenue. So, what we’ve done, essentially, is leave the most dysfunctional facility to the state’s most popular team.

Why 2010 makes sense: Interest rates are at a 20-year low, construction costs are down, there’s a tremendous desire to create jobs. And here’s a chance to create jobs. It’s the largest economic stimulus proposal out there. They’re talking about jobs, so why shouldn’t this issue be on the table as far as job creation and economic stimulus? The Vikings pay approximately $20 million a year in taxes. You can’t dispute that without the Vikings, there’d be a $20 million hole in the budget they’d have to fill.

We don’t need a roof for 10 football games. Perhaps the roof should be looked at as a state benefit. And therefore we should look for state revenue to pay for the roof. You could argue that having a roof allows a facility to be used year-around for state high school athletic events.

We could also benefit by NCAA basketball, and a Super Bowl, which we would get if we get this problem solved. But all of those benefits don’t accrue to the Vikings. They accrue to the state of Minnesota, and they should pay for it.

Vikings would control our revenue. They would pay rent and we would like the revenues from our games. Any other event, if it’s publicly owned, the public should benefit. Monster trucks, U2 concerts, whatever. That should go to the public.

Last year in ‘09, there was a significant economic downturn and budget challenge. There was no stadium debate, so it’s now down to 20 games left at the Metrodome.
Joe Merlot

Cottage Grove, MN

#178 Feb 23, 2010
reed wrote:
It’s clear that newspapers would be among the biggest losers if the Vikings did move. three of the four biggest page view days in startribune.com history were Vikings-related.
The dynamic has me wondering if any state daily will take a flier and oppose a stadium, or at least not panic about how much time is left
While construction costs and interest rates are down, the total price tag is $650 million for a 64,000-seat, open-air facility,$870 million for one with a retractable roof. Bagley says that making a stadium happen would require funding from the state of $29 million to $42 million a year over 30 years, with the final tab depending on whether there’s a retractable roof or not.
We have about 5 million people in the state, and half of those people in the state were watching - or listening to or attending or following on the internet - the Minnesota Vikings. And there’s never been more people following the Vikings than there are today.
Right. The Mall of America Field was a great deal, and thank God they stepped up for naming rights, and for a modest fee, because they are good business partners. But with that deal, we are still at the bottom of the NFL for revenue. The model of the Metrodome does not work any longer. It’s the smallest stadium in the NFL,[in] square footage. It’s less than a million square feet. It’s the second-oldest without a renovation, and the footprint is too small. There’s not enough to generate revenue. So, what we’ve done, essentially, is leave the most dysfunctional facility to the state’s most popular team.
Why 2010 makes sense: Interest rates are at a 20-year low, construction costs are down, there’s a tremendous desire to create jobs. And here’s a chance to create jobs. It’s the largest economic stimulus proposal out there. They’re talking about jobs, so why shouldn’t this issue be on the table as far as job creation and economic stimulus? The Vikings pay approximately $20 million a year in taxes. You can’t dispute that without the Vikings, there’d be a $20 million hole in the budget they’d have to fill.
We don’t need a roof for 10 football games. Perhaps the roof should be looked at as a state benefit. And therefore we should look for state revenue to pay for the roof. You could argue that having a roof allows a facility to be used year-around for state high school athletic events.
We could also benefit by NCAA basketball, and a Super Bowl, which we would get if we get this problem solved. But all of those benefits don’t accrue to the Vikings. They accrue to the state of Minnesota, and they should pay for it.
Vikings would control our revenue. They would pay rent and we would like the revenues from our games. Any other event, if it’s publicly owned, the public should benefit. Monster trucks, U2 concerts, whatever. That should go to the public.
Last year in ‘09, there was a significant economic downturn and budget challenge. There was no stadium debate, so it’s now down to 20 games left at the Metrodome.
Reed, the stadium debate is primarily mired in political class ware fare. It's funny how those that oppose these stadiums have no problem spending the same amount of money on 4 small city civic centers. Why? Because the civic centers don't support a millionaire. That's the only reason. Nothing else matters them and they will absolutely not listen to reasonable arguments such as those you've presented.
Billy Bob

Marietta, GA

#179 Feb 23, 2010
Joe Merlot wrote:
<quoted text>
Reed, the stadium debate is primarily mired in political class ware fare. It's funny how those that oppose these stadiums have no problem spending the same amount of money on 4 small city civic centers. Why? Because the civic centers don't support a millionaire. That's the only reason. Nothing else matters them and they will absolutely not listen to reasonable arguments such as those you've presented.
It's a perception problem. A new stadium will never gain any traction now. You are correct it's class warfare plain and simple.
All In

Minneapolis, MN

#180 Feb 23, 2010
JTY wrote:
<quoted text>
The amount of money spent on k-12 education (local on state level) has increased 36% over the last 10 years. Accounting for inflation and it is about a 9.8% increase in spending (using 2008 dollars). Now what you are talking about is the amount per studend spending has decreased .8% per year over the last 4 years. Prior to that it was increasing at a rate of about 1.3% per year.
Maybe we should look at where the money is being spent? 51% is going just to pay the teachers. That would be area #1 to find ways to trim that fat.
It's got to come from education, and the ridiculous teachers and administrators salaries and benefits that we bamboozled taxpayers have been blindly accepting.
dems will never learn

Minneapolis, MN

#181 Feb 24, 2010
America the Great wrote:
<quoted text>
Oh come off of it already. K-12 education's state budget has gradually shrunk since Jesse Ventura was elected Governor.(Yes, not all the K-12 cuts owe thanks to Pawlenty). Everybody knows this. Why do you think so many school districts have been having all these referendums in the past 10 years?
By the way, K-12 is not a solvable argument because nobody really wants to reform K-12, including and especially you. If we really wanted to make our schools better we'd copy the Chinese and Japanese models where those schools are producing the top minds. Are we going to do that? No.
If we really wanted to reform schools, we'd shrink classroom sizes to about 12-16 students, which everybody in educational policy knows helps students achieve better test scores. Are we going to do that? No.
If we really wanted to reform schools, we'd put more money and emphasis into English writing and proficiency skills. Where do we put our money? Into sports and computer programs.
The only alternative people seem more likely to support is changing schools from public ones to private ones. This doesn't insure the schools will perform better; it simply means people like you and Billy Bob won't have to pay for it.
You are off the reservation and the bloggers have ranked you as such.
Joe Merlot

Brooklyn, NY

#182 Feb 24, 2010
America the Great wrote:
<quoted text>
With all due respect, changing labor laws and making unions accountable more accountable is nice a sentiment, but in the long run, we have to ask ourselves do we want schools that will produce high calibur talent or do we just want schools to show that they are not wasting tax dollars.
If the answer is produce calibur talent, restructuring unions will save us money, but we're going to have the same problem -students underachieving.
If the answer is b, contain costs, show fiscal responsibility, blah, blah, then your proposal probably works, but we're still going to have underachieving students.
We really should take a hard look at what other successful industrialized countries are doing with K-12 education and restructure the entire school system based off of those models and are findings about implementing such models in the United States.
Regarding models of education in other industrialized nations, I'm not knowlegable in that regard but sure, let's take a look at them. It certainly can't hurt. I would suggest that culture be a strong part of the consideration, however, and I think you'll find that other higher performing school models are likely driven by student/family engagement. It's also important that care be taken to preserve objectivity in evaluating other models as to often there is a bias involved and the models chosen for review are ones that have a sought after characteristic. It can very easily become a game of finding a model that you agree with philosophically and then seeking out information that will sell that model regardless if it's truly better or not or whether the sought after characteristic is even the driver of the success of the model.

I tend to think that most families that do not engage with the education system for the benefit of their childs education actually can't due to their circumstances. How many families have two working parents with one or both working multiple jobs? Those families have to be more focused on providing the basics and I'm sure would love to be more involved in their kids education. I tend to think the education problem is more of a cultural and socio economic problem that is simply not easily solved. While I understand what other families experience in this regard, I still believe in free market capitalism and do not beleive that government can solve this problem for people. I'm still of the mind that a pseudo socialism that seeks to redistribute wealth in the context of a free sociaty is an oxymoron.
henson

Lexington, KY

#183 Feb 24, 2010
i agree

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