In Next Session, Slocum Says MN Legislature Needs to Move Forward With Purpose
Richfield Rep. Linda Slocum talks with Patch after the election.
Last week's election turned out to be a major win for Minnesota DFL legislators, after flipping both the House and the Senate into a Democratic majority. And, of course, we can’t forget the governor’s office has Democrat Mark Dayton at the helm.
While Slocum said DFL control of the state legislature was delightful, a list of priorities for the next session has to be pounded out.
“The ball’s in our (DFL) court,” Slocum said. “And we need to do some big things and move forward with purpose.”
Among some of those priorities, Slocum said renewing the income tax code to make it fairer for all was a big one. Obviously, this means the wealthier Minnesotans will need to pay more. In addition, Slocum said looking at the business tax code and making adjustments is also in order.
The next session will require the legislature to create a balanced budget plan and while Slocum said there will most definitely be cuts, all cuts will have to be done very carefully.
“From my perspective, and my party’s perspective, government exists to help people,” she said. “When you cut the help that goes out to people, it’s not right.”
“And we have made some major cuts [in the past few years],” she added. “We’re pretty lean. It doesn’t mean we can’t cut more—sure we can—but we have to be careful. The budget reflects our values.”
Of course, with the failure of the marriage amendment, Patch asked Slocum if she saw a repeal of the current law banning same-sex marriage in the near future. She remained quite coy in her response:
“I think it could be something that is on the agenda. It could be interesting,” she said. “There is a long book [on Minnesota’s law regarding same-sex marriage]. We do have gay and lesbian members of the legislature so I think it may get brought up.”
Slocum also said she was hoping to carry some mental health legislation through the next session and would be looking at other bills she’s drafted, such as estate sale reform, that have sat untouched.