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Legislature needs to make sensible choices

The Minnesota Legislature, unable as always, it seems, to complete its work during its regular session, will convene Friday to try to get the job done. Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that he is calling a special session to handle an assortment of items, including police reform, assisting businesses struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing other items on his agenda.

Examining police reform does seem important, but we hope lawmakers do not overreach. Incidents of police cruelty, such as that inflicted upon George Floyd of Minneapolis, should not be tolerated. Hence the charges filed against officers involved. But isolated incidents should not be interpreted as “institutional racism” and thus used to hamstring police, who face the already-daunting task of protecting law-abiding citizens from violent criminals.

COVID-19, meanwhile, has wreaked havoc across the country, and certainly in Minnesota. Businesses pay taxes to the state and deserve consideration as they now struggle to reopen and move ahead. If they can get tax and regulatory relief, or their tax payments refunded, that would be of substantial help to them.

We do not want to see the Legislature move ahead on those portions of Walz’s agenda that will harm businesses. Walz describes his view as building a “strong and equitable economy.” But what does “equitable” even mean in economic terms? An economy is just by nature. It rewards those who achieve. “Equitable” implies they do not deserve their rewards, but rather someone else does. Which begs the question: Why? Lawmakers need to rein in Walz’s fanciful penchant for wealth redistribution.

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