Pugh: We have discovered that there are some crises in Minnesota that must be addressed.Tom Pugh, the minority leader in the House and the man leading the DFL effort to take back that chamber in 2000, says Democrats will focus on the parts of the state that seem to have missed out on the economic boom times.
Pugh: One example relates to education. We've discovered that in Minnesota there are 423 trailers being used as temporary classrooms, temporary classrooms, for the children of this state. We've also discovered that our children are using text books that they must share, oftentimes text books that are outdated.Pugh and the other DFL leaders are pledging another increase in state aid for local schools, although they won't say yet how much. The Legislature already approved a big jump in school aid last year, and critics say much of that money went to increase teachers salaries, instead of improving facilities or buying textbooks.
Moe: The last thing we want is a two-economy state. I think we're in this together, as a family, and that's part of our role, to recognize that.The DFL plan contains few hard numbers. Moe says he wants to wait to see the next state budget forecast, in February. But DFLers are proposing more concrete legislation in non-fiscal areas, such as new limits on how companies can share customers' personal information, new, pro-consumer regulations on health care insurance companies, and changes to the state's new program to offer senior citizens cheaper prescription drugs.
Moe: It is aggressive, but it is dated 2000, so I think we have all year to discuss it.In other words, with a nod to November of 2000, the DFLers are already staking out the platform with which they hope to hold on to the Senate and win back the House.