To the Editor:
Not long ago, this newspaper ran a letter claiming we "need a new politics" at the State Capitol.
If you analyzed the accomplishments of this past session, most people would likely disagree.
In the past two years, legislative leadership has taken a $5.1 billion budget deficit and turned it into a $1.3 billion surplus by reforming government, putting more people to work, and spending your tax dollars in a smarter way.
Minnesota's economic forecast continues to improve every month, and our unemployment numbers are well below the national average. In 2010, Minnesota's unemployment rate was 7.5%. One year later, it had plummeted to 5.7%. Since a Republican majority took over the Legislature, nearly 40,000 out-of work Minnesotans have found employment.
We also kept our promise to force government to live within its means. The Legislature cut billions of dollars in projected spending, enacted countless reform measures that will reduce state spending in the years to come, and we fought back Governor Dayton's efforts to enact a multi-billion dollar tax increase plan, which would have killed jobs and impacted every Minnesotan.
How did our schools fare over the past two years? We increased education funding by over $650 million dollars. For Fairmont Schools, state and local revenue increased from $8,744 per pupil to $9,020.
The letter writer stated "the same tired politics of the past aren't working." He couldn't have been more correct.
Those tired policies led to budget deficit after budget deficit, out of control government spending, repeated attempts at tax increases, and a widened funding disparity gap between rural and inner city schools.
With Republicans in charge, we took this state in a different direction. And as a result, more Minnesotans are working, our economy is back in the black, and our schools have more money than ever before.
State Representative Bob Gunther