Dear Gov. Walz, Thanks for your agenda; here’s ours

Minnesota Governor-elect Tim Walz, left, places his hand on the Bible held by his wife Gwen, center, as he prepares to take the oath of office administered by Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea, right, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) (Photo: Jim Mone, AP) Dear Gov. Tim Walz, Congratulations on your election and inauguration. The Times Editorial Board is encouraged by many of the points, promises and priorities you made campaigning and in preparing to take office. That said, here are top priorities from this board’s perspective Build a reasonable budget on time As you know, recent Legislatures and governors have turned the state’s biannual budget process into a debacle. Whether it’s partisanship, procrastination or both, it’s hard to remember the last time Minnesotans weren’t left shaking their heads as the governor and a handful of leading legislators bickered about the state’s two-year budget as deadlines whizzed past. Yes, that applies to your predecessor and fellow Democrat Mark Dayton. And before him, it was Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who did not do any better with timely, bipartisan budgets than his predecessor, Jesse Ventura. Those 20 years — and 10 budgets — offer four bright-line lessons you and legislative leaders should follow. 1. Set early deadlines and meet them. 2. Always, always, always keep talking. 3. Keep budget numbers reasonable. In other words, don’t compile a plan that increases taxes substantially, if at all. Similarly, for Republicans reading this letter, don’t dig in […]

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