During my five legislative sessions, we produced balanced budgets, but we fell short of creating long-term financial stability for our great state. Unfortunately, there were times when those maneuvering for political advantage won over sound policy and fiscal responsibility, which too often stalled needed progress on improving the lives of working families, veterans, children and senior citizens.And now, for Taxin' Tarryl's closing money quote...
But I have been among several leaders — from both parties — to pursue a different path to move Minnesota forward. And in those five sessions, I'm proud of what we have achieved.
We put job creation front and center. This session alone, we created or saved more than 22,000 jobs by jump-starting infrastructure projects across our state and encouraging small-business growth including through an "angel investor" tax credit.
We made it clear that early childhood education is important, and I'm proud to say that the governor signed my early childhood bill into law.
We took the lead on closing the achievement gap by preparing our students from their first day in school, and ensured we continue to have world-class colleges and universities.
We took on the big insurance companies on behalf of Minnesotans. Even after they sunk more than $1 million into defeating our bill, we scored a big victory for consumers, ensuring they get what they pay for from their insurance policies.We stood up for our veterans and their families, welcoming them home through the Warrior to Citizen campaign and the nationally recognized Beyond the Yellow Ribbon program. We expanded the GI Bill, providing counseling services, leaves of absence and tax breaks for service members and their families.
We worked directly with law enforcement to give them more of the tools they need to combat violence and drugs in our communities.
We helped seniors stay in their homes by protecting them from predatory lenders, we made utilities more affordable, and we expanded the cold weather rule preventing power shutoffs, because we don't leave seniors and families out in the cold in Minnesota.
We made huge strides in building Minnesota's transportation future, including the opening of the vital Northstar Corridor. You can be sure I will keep working to finish the job and bring it all the way to St. Cloud.
We worked with our federal partners to ensure Minnesota wasn't punished for a health care system that focuses on quality outcomes instead of quantity of procedures.
And, when some federal partners didn't want to be part of solutions for Minnesota ... we stepped up and got the job done anyway, because it's what Minnesotans expect and deserve.
We said no to the status quo — demanded accountability, transparency, and cut a whole lot of red tape. We made it easier for local governments to cut costs, and for everyone to innovate.We've done all this even while dealing with significant economic challenges. It's meant making tough choices that sometimes have been the subject of unfair or dishonest partisan attacks. But I have always stood on my principles and put people ahead of politics, and I think we could use more of that these days: leaders who are willing to be a part of the solution, who tone down the rhetoric and focus on results, and who get the job done for the people they represent.
That's the kind of leader I've tried to be, because I believe, as President Harry Truman once said, "It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit."I'm sure that ol Harry Truman is spinning wheelies in his grave right about now.