Time to work together
To the Editor:
As I’ve been pounding the pavement talking to voters across District 23A, I have gotten a lot of questions about the omnibus bill that was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton at the end of the last legislative session.
At the end of the 2018 session, the majority party submitted a nearly 1,000-page omnibus bill in the middle of the night to be voted on in the last hour of the session. The bill contained several pieces of bipartisan legislation, including one addressing tax conformity with the federal tax bill, but it also included many partisan pieces of legislation the governor vowed to veto from the very beginning.
The Minnesota state constitution, Article IV, Section 17, states: “Laws to embrace only one subject. No law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.” This omnibus bill clearly violated the state constitution and was rightly vetoed. These types of bills aren’t unique to one party or another — both sides have done it in the past, which leads to bad laws being passed in order to also pass good ones. I personally don’t believe that bills that address elder abuse or the opioid crisis should be political pawns in these election-year games. We must do better.
The practice of pushing omnibus bills full of multiple subjects that are not even closely related needs to stop. It is unrealistic to believe that any one legislator read the 989-page bill that was voted on in the last hour of the 2018 session. As your state representative, I pledge to follow the Minnesota State Constitution, especially Article IV, Section 17.
As for tax conformity, this bill would have easily passed as stand-alone, bipartisan legislation. The 2019 tax season could be very complicated if conformity is not addressed. The Legislature convenes in early January 2019. If elected, I will push for the tax conformity bill to be passed during the first two weeks of the legislative session, meaning the new governor could feasibly sign it by mid-January, saving Minnesotans much confusion and time this tax season.
In talking with voters all over the district — and I have visited every community in the district — the message is clear. We need to start working together to put the needs of Minnesotans first. Politics should not be a game. When we don’t pass good legislation, there are real consequences in people’s lives. I promise to be a common-sense legislator who is more concerned about the good of the people rather than the good of one party or another.
Minnesota House of
Representatives, District 23A
A win-win for all
To the Editor:
I have been to a successful private for-profit recreational center. It pays taxes, not takes taxes. I was there as a guest just to see that it works. My idea is that the 1590 committee use its business expertise and start a corporation, sell shares, get business loans and investments to build a recreational center. It would be a win-win situation for everyone.
The people who do not want to pay for it do not have to. The people who want it can have a new business in town that pays taxes and then they can split the profits.
We can do better
To the Editor:
My name is John Gibeau. I am a candidate for the Fairmont Area Schools School Board. The reason I am running for the school board is because I believe in our kids and our schools specifically.
Ever since I was elected Minnesota’s youngest mayor in 1998, I have been committed to giving back to my community. I have been a member of numerous community improvement groups during my time in and out of political office.
I recently founded a local non-profit, Ceylon Area First, which in its first six months of existence was able to give free books to every eligible child age, newborn to 6 years old, in the Ceylon zip code at no charge. We also have secured a grant to provide a cutting edge educational/fitness program that will help our area kids stay physically fit while using technology to engage them mentally.
I believe our school board has done a fine job in keeping our schools funded and in providing a safe, clean environment for our students to thrive in. I do believe a role I can play in is improving communication between parents and the board, and be an active advocate at the legislative level for better and equitable school funding.
I do also have ideas on how to reduce bullying and, through a cooperative effort from administrators, teachers, parents and students, we can put a program in place to help our kids be more kind, and be more inclusive for everyone in our district.
I do not want to reinvent the wheel, but I do feel together we can help our schools work on improving test scores and keep looking toward our future leveraging technology with our strong educator group to keep our amazing school system on top.
When you look at the tax money we spend on our schools, the return on investment is substantial. I want our school to remain financially viable for well into the future, while keeping an eye on the taxes we levy. We have a large senior population in our district. I do not want to tax good people out of their homes.
We can do better for everyone and I humbly ask for your help to be part of this solution. Please remember to vote on Nov. 6.
John D. Gibeau
Fairmont Area School Board