Fulfilling their promise to invest in education, Minnesota’s Democratic leaders joined with the state’s Democratic governor to announce the state was moving ahead of schedule to repay money that Republicans had held back from local districts when they controlled the legislature.
Yet another middle class priority Republicans failed to accomplish in the two years they held legislative majorities in Minnesota: "The Minnesota Department of Revenue is projecting a $121 million decline in property taxes next year... the first drop in Minnesota property taxes in a decade."
The drop is occurring because Minnesota's Democratic legislature and Governor "steered millions of extra dollars to local government aid in the most recent budget, with the expectation that the money will be passed along to the taxpayer in the form of lower property tax levies... Without the addiitonal[sic] money, he said, his office projected that local property taxes would have increased by $180 million in 2014."
The more than 300-million-dollar net tax reduction is just another in a long line of accomplishments by DFL legislators in their first year back in the majority.
According to the most recent survey by Public Policy Polling, "Democrats lead the generic legislative ballot by a 47/41 margin" in Minnesota's 2014 state House races, and DFL legislators enjoy a 23-point net approval advantage over the GOP minority. The state Senate is not up for re-election until 2016.
These numbers must be reassuring to legislative Democrats, who just wrapped up a successful first legislative session since regaining their majorities in 2012. In addition to providing $400 million in property tax relief, the DFL majorities made historic investments in public schools (including universal, all-day kindergarten), expanded access to voting by mail, and made Minnesota the 12th state to grant civil marriage equality.
Earlier this afternoon, the Democratic-led Minnesota Senate joined the state House in passing HF 1054, to make Minnesota the 12th state in America to establish civil marriage equality.
KSTP News has the video of the final vote, including the cheers that rose up immediately thereafter (NOTE: video volume drops after the 1:10 mark):