Editorial: Leaders will face decisions in 2011
The year 2011 will likely be a bruising one as new Democrat governor Mark Dayton and the Republican-majority Legislature work out solutions to the major issues of Minnesota.
Those major issues are each significant on their own right:
* Solving a $6 billion-plus budget deficit
* Creating more jobs in Minnesota
* Regenerating a recession-hammered economy
* Figuring out how to raise state revenues without new taxes
* Deciding whether to fund a state bonding bill in 2011
* Re-evaluating state spending growth
* Finding a workable solution for a new Vikings stadium
It is almost certain there will be a showdown between the Legislature and Dayton in 2011 on these and other issues.
Republican leaders are looking to address state spending at all levels and reject any tax increase proposal as dead on arrival.
Dayton intends to be involved in shaping Minnesota policy and says he is not afraid to say no.
This Minnesota leadership team is a reverse of the past eight years where Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty and a Democratic-majority Legislature battled through different issues.
The wisdom of the current Legislature leaders and the new governor will lie in how they govern together. Battling to a political standoff and creating governing gridlock does not serve the people of Minnesota and only advances political agendas on both sides.
A little compromise goes a long way in good governance. The question for 2011 is whether the Legislature or the new governor chooses good governance or good politics as their path.
Only time will tell.