SAINT PAUL – (August 18, 2011) – Minnesota House Republicans today announced an effort to seek input from Minnesotans on how to reform and improve state government to deliver results for every dollar spent.
“The current national disucssion and fiscal challenges facing Minnesota validate the need for proactive, outcome-based state solutions. Reform 2.0 is designed to seek new, fresh ideas and support for reform initiatives that will make government more accountable, cost-effective and efficient,” said Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers. “Our state’s economic climate and fiscal future rely on the reforms we are able to make today.”
Republicans said Reform 2.0 will seek ideas that promote opportunity and preserve individual responsibility through limiting government over-reach, improving the state’s business climate to help job growth, reducing meaningless mandates or mandates that overlap between state, local and federal governments, lowering taxes and reforming that state tax code, and promoting government services that are effective and efficient.
“We need policies that align spending to revenue in a fiscally responsible manner and make government more productive,” said Minnesota House Majority Leader Matt Dean. “Our fiscal policies should start with smart spending based on available revenues, not projected spending funded by nonexistent resources.”
In addition to a reform-focused agenda next legislaive session, Republicans also stated their commitment to passing a constitutional amendment focused on fiscal policy. One such amendment being considered is requiring a supermajority to raise taxes.
“Our budget process should not first rely on compelling more money for Minnesotans to pay for more government, particularly in bleak economic times,” said Representative Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), who introduced a constitutional amendment requiring a supermajority to raise taxes during the 2011 legislative session. “By raising the bar for setting future tax increases, our focus as lawmakers will first remain on innovations and reforms that reduce the scope, reach and cost of state government.”
Citing bills that consolidated and streamlined government services, phased out a regressive tax, reformed education, provided additional transparency into transit expenditures and moved Minnesotans toward a patient-centered free market health care system, Republicans said they hope to build on successful reforms passed during the 2011 special session.
“We proved that we can agree on and pass reforms that start to change how government operates,” Zellers said. “Reform is not a partisan issue. This is not a Republcian agenda. It is Minnesota’s agenda."
The announcement included the launch of a Reform 2.0 website at reform2.mn for Minnesotans and Facebook users to post their reform ideas, as well as @reform2 on Twitter. Zellers said plans are in the works to hold reform development meetings around the state and feature Reform 2.0 at the Minnesota State Fair.