Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz was thinking of some Republicans as he delivered his state of the state address on Wednesday. They weren’t just Republicans sitting in the House chamber in St. Paul.
And the DFB governor, who begins his second term in January, has landed some of his strongest blows against national Republicans, especially the unnamed governor of Florida. He portrayed Democratic-controlled Minnesota as a bulwark against the spread of “forces of hate and bigotry”, referring in part to anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and politics.
“But let me say it now, and let me say it clearly: That march stops at the Minnesota border,” Walz said.
Walz got some national press attention because the DFL trifecta in Minnesota managed to pass progressive bills on abortion access, transgender rights, zero-carbon standards, free school lunches and breakfasts for all students, and rent assistance. He has enjoyed positioning himself as the opposite of Republicans who have gained national prominence like Ron DeSantis of Florida. Although after he said he’d do something other than Minnesotan, “talk about what we’re really talking about,” Walz didn’t talk about WHO he was really talking about, though he did get close to it.
“I’ve seen some of these other conservatives on TV—they find plenty of time for TV—and they always talk about ‘freedom,’” he said. But it turns out what they mean is that government should be free to invade your bedroom, your children’s dressing room, and your office. your doctor.
“Here in Minnesota, when we talk about freedom, we talk about your kids having the freedom to go to school without worrying about being shot in their schools,” Walz said.
He retained an unnamed after DeSantis. “Look, I’m just the governor of this great state. It’s not up to me how people in places like Florida do business. But I have to tell you, I’m so glad we’re doing it our way and not theirs,” Walz said. We expel hunger from our hunger.
Rulers and presidents are expected to use these titles to declare that their countries and nations are strong. Waltz did not disappoint. The state of Minnesota is strong, “and it only gets stronger with every investment we make in our people and the future they work so hard to build,” the DFL governor told a joint conference of the legislature.
But make no mistake: Minnesota’s strength is not only in our economy, our schools, or our natural resources. Our strength also comes from our values,” Walz said, quickly returning to patriotic themes, comparing what he and the legislative DFLers do with what “they” do. He noted that criminals regained voting rights upon release from prison, allowing illegal immigrants the ability to Obtaining driver’s licenses and recognizing Juneteenth as a public holiday, he portrayed his agenda as proof of “picking the right fights”.
“Look, I get it, I get it,” Walz said. Politicians want to be seen as “fighters”. But what they don’t seem to understand is that it’s not enough to be a fighter. You have to choose the right battles. And if there’s one thing I wish people in other states would take away from what we do here in Minnesota, it’s this: It’s amazing what you can achieve when you stop complaining about corporate waking up and start genuinely caring about people. spirits.”
It is common for governors of other states to make these speeches at the beginning of the year and at the beginning of legislative sessions. Walz delivered his inaugural address in January, and Minnesota governors waited until months into sessions to give state of the state addresses.
This makes agenda setting seem late in the game. Waltz tried it anyway by reciting his budget and tax policies—some already adopted in budget bills in the House and Senate, and some missing. He made an offer of discount checks without specific dollar signs that would state that the House DFL checks are much smaller than he suggested. Child and child care tax credits are different than what appears on the same House DFL tax bill. His plan to create a new government agency for children is alive but not thriving.
The biggest gap between his agenda and what is being pushed by legislative DFLers is in public safety.
“Of course, putting families first also means having our first and primary responsibility to all of us, and keeping our communities safe,” Walz said. That’s why our plan includes more than half a billion dollars in public safety funding for cities and counties across our state. This is the largest single investment in Minnesota history. Whether it’s an increase in auto theft or facing an opioid epidemic, our first responders and law enforcement agencies have a lot to deal with – they must have all the resources needed to tackle the problems facing communities.”
Those grants have yet to appear in legislative plans, though no Senate tax plan has been disclosed that could sustain them. House DFLers asserts that it is increasing state aid to cities and counties not just with one-time funds this year but with more in years to come. But Republican leaders have noted the gap between what Waltz has asked for and what has been delivered so far in the budget plans.
Waltz quickly moved from public safety to gun safety measures one step further, an issue that has no GOP votes and which is struggling to find consensus among DFLers in the Senate.
“We know very well that weapons of war have no place in our schools or our churches or our banks or anywhere else people live their lives,” he said, to applause from the DFL and wailing from the GOP.
“That’s what’s going to happen,” Walz said. “We’ve got a gun safety bill on the table. And we’re going to pass it. And I’m going to sign it. We’re going to do general background checks. We’re going to put in place warning laws to keep guns out of people’s hands. And we’re going to have legal gun owners who are a bit untouchable to continue doing what they’ve already done. If there is any Anyone who doubts, anyone in America who doubts that we will take meaningful action to protect our children, I have two words: watch us.”
Walz ended up charging Bundesliga lawmakers and campaigners something he described earlier in the week as similar to a half-time speech from a former high school assistant football coach.
He said, “I want to take a minute and say thank you for the services you provide on all of these issues and for the service you provide to civic life in Minnesota.” “We’re creating a roadmap for another 49 states by doing whatever it takes to become a state that works — for everyone.
“Let’s not miss the opportunity.”
Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson of East Grand Forks noted attention on DeSantis when he responded to the speech.
“Ron DeSantis is probably off his Christmas card list at this point,” said Johnson. He went on to describe the speech as “a national campaign speech that ignores the needs of Minnesotans across the state.”
“It was a huge step backwards,” Johnson said of the speech’s tone. “I was looking for a unifying message tonight, something all Minnesotans can get behind. The governor’s ambitions seem to be patriotic and we’re starting to forget the needs of Minnesotans.
“I wanted to hear about Minnesota’s needs, but we kept hearing about Florida and the different states it looked like he would be up against in the future,” Johnson said. He said he found it ironic that Walz complained that Republicans would prefer government meddling in people’s lives while the DFL would increase the size and scope of state government in their budgets.
Walz should have been aware of the death of Police Officer Joshua Owen, who was killed in the line of duty over the weekend in Pope County, House Minority Leader Lisa DeMuth of Cold Spring said. While Walz is proposing $550 million to aid the local police response, little of that has been proposed in public safety bills in the House and Senate.
On gun safety, Demuth said Republicans fundamentally disagree with red flag and background check bills.
“What Republicans and most Minnesto members are looking for is that they are looking for criminals to be held accountable and to get guns out of the hands of criminals,” she said.