NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Thursday June 22nd 2017

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The State Candidates with Your Interests at Heart

By Donna Pususta Neste

In September’s issue of the Alley I wrote about getting yourself to the voting booth in November because the Democratic candidates who protect Federally funded programs that are important to the people of Phillips Neighborhood need your vote. In this month’s issue I would like to address the importance of voting for the candidates who are running on the state level who are concerned about you.

First I would like to compare Minnesota to our neighboring state of Wisconsin, whose state legislature, is controlled by the Republicans; House, Senate and Governor. Minnesota’s State Legislature is controlled by the Democrats; House, Senate and Governor. Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is 5.8%. Minnesota’s unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the nation at 4.5%. In Wisconsin 12.5% of its population lives below the poverty line, while in Minnesota 11.2% live below the poverty line.

I recently saw a news program with a blurb about the top five cities people are moving to despite the weather. Minneapolis was in that top five. The reason given is the job opportunities. The fact that we have a relatively healthy economy despite the sand-bagging of the Republicans on the Federal level is no accident. I would like to use Governor Dayton as an example. Governor Dayton followed the two-term Republican, Governor Pawlenty, who definitely did not have the people of Phillips Community’s interests at heart. He made a promise to never raise taxes and he didn’t, although he did raise revenues with creative fee increases in just about everything. While watching out for his rich friends, he borrowed from K-12 education, (funds that were never paid back while he was in office), cut programs that benefit the poor, and rejected the Federal funds offered to states out of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Governor Dayton, on the other hand, promised to increase support for education every year he is Governor. Dayton, a former teacher in a poor area of New York City, knows the importance of education and has increased the education budget by $344 million; $40 million going to all-day kindergarten, (new in MN) and an increase to $8.9 million for English language programs, programs that will certainly benefit many families in Phillips. Under Dayton and the Democratic House and Senate undocumented high school students, (many in Phillips) will greatly benefit also. Legislation was passed that will help them with state student aid for college to those who qualify. The Democrats haven’t left out help for others seeking high education either. They passed a historic $250 million increase for higher education, $46 million going to student financial help. They also froze tuition for state funded schools of higher education, which includes the University of Minnesota. And let’s not forget about the hundreds of millions of dollars more that will be in the pockets of low-wage workers throughout the state of Minnesota (many in Phillips) because the Democratically controlled legislature passed an increase in the minimum wage. Now, about that Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Dayton came into office just in time to accept it for the state of Minnesota.

Please vote this November, and vote for the Federal and State candidates who have your interests at heart!

Donna Pususta Neste

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