Control of the executive and legislative branches of Minnesotan state government has been split for over 21 years. This year, a number of potential constitutional amendments have been proposed, seemingly as a run around the governor, while gubernatorial executive orders attempt to avoid legislative roadblocks, and a commissioner has been denied confirmation for what might be political tit-for-tat.
Everyone at the Capitol agrees that more jobs are key, but are unable to agree on how to deliver them. The state’s budget is balanced: is this only temporary? The use of one-time spending to end the shutdown last summer means that when the 2013 Legislature convenes, it will almost possibly face another big deficit. Could permanent measure to raise taxes or cut spending be put in place or even agreed to?
New legislative district maps are due from the state judiciary on Feb. 21. Chances are good that the new maps will lead to a spate of retirements, and that the 2012 election will usher in a new cast of characters.
Can the different branches of state government actually work past the political? Is this how the system is supposed to work or are we in need of major change? What do politicians actually listen to these days?
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