By Senator Becky Lourey
A pledge of “no new taxes” sounds great if you’re treated well under the current tax system. That applies to the wealthiest one in ten Minnesotans. For the rest of us, who bear a disproportionate burden of the cost of shared public services, “no new taxes” is a smokescreen to obscure what’s broken about the system and to prevent any improvements. It really means “no fairer taxes.”
Look at the figures. Minnesota’s tax system puts a heavier burden on middle-income earners than the wealthiest, and a heavier burden on small businesses than the largest. That was what the Minnesota Department of Revenue found in its 2005 Tax Incidence Study, available at HYPERLINK "http://www.taxes.state.mn.us/reports/reports.html"www.taxes.state.mn.us/reports/reports.html. Measuring state and local taxes together, the study determined that the wealthiest tenth of the state’s income-earners (individuals and businesses) paid a lower portion of their income in taxes than nearly everyone else.
If you were in the middle third of income-earners, 11 percent to 12 percent of your income went to state and local taxes.
Exclusively submitted to the Star Tribune
by Becky Lourey
Affordable health care is good for business. Healthy workers are more productive. Productive businesses are more competitive.
Security, Green Buildings, 21st Century Transportation emphasized
An ambitious and far-reaching policy to head Minnesota toward independence was announced today by candidate for Governor Becky Lourey in St. Paul. Her “Minnesota Clean: An Energy Security Declaration” features extensive building energy conservation measures and a road map to pollution-reducing 21st century transportation excellence.
“Minnesotans are pouring their hard-earned paychecks into bottomless gas tanks and huge utility bills,” Lourey said. “In response to the energy and war policy failures of the Bush administration and Congress, I have the energy security proposal to reverse this downward financial spiral.”
Specifically, Lourey’s Minnesota Clean energy policy proposes:
The Minnesota DFL Veterans Caucus this month announced a strong endorsement of Becky Lourey for Governor. In part, the endorsement states: “State Senator Lourey has demonstrated ample knowledge of and concern for the vital interests of veterans, active military personnel, and their families. She has been active as a member of the Senate Agriculture, Veterans Affairs and Gaming Committee in serving those interests. She offers a proven record of veterans’ advocacy to back up her commitment to continue addressing their needs. And she understands the demands that will be felt by state agencies and resources as numbers of Iraq and Afghanistan vets return home to Minnesota… We don't see how Minnesota veterans could do better than to have a friend like Becky Lourey in the highest position in state government.”
President Bush is expected to announce tonight that he is deploying state National Guard troops to supplement the Border Patrol along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border.
“Although this questionable deployment does not directly impact the Minnesota National Guard, it does raise yet another concern about appropriate state militia use. Beyond any doubt National Guard troops have the talent to assist the U.S. Border Patrol in its duties, but the federal government alone should take responsibility for securing our national borders,” Lourey said. “As Minnesotans, we appreciate the tremendous personal and financial sacrifices made by our National Guard and their families as they have willingly served repeated tours of duty overseas. Serving on the Senate’s veterans affairs policy committee and attending forums in our communities, I have listened closely to the testimony regarding our returning Guardsmen and women. It is my duty to speak out on their behalf, communicating to federal authorities that the National Guard’s role should be reserved to responding to real and immediate threats to state and federal security.”
Minnesota NOW (National Organization for Women) this week announced an “A” rating and endorsement of Becky Lourey for Governor. The Lourey campaign will receive a political action committee donation and in-kind assistance from the group. No other candidate for Governor has received the Minnesota NOW endorsement or an A rating.
“The Minnesota NOW endorsement is a tremendous personal honor, and a significant boost to our growing campaign success. I share the principles of fairness and justice held high by NOW, and will be working hard to implement them as Governor of Minnesota,” Lourey said.
Affiliated with national NOW, Minnesota NOW has approximately 2,400 members from throughout the state with six affiliated local chapters. The group actively works to change the political, social, economic and cultural landscape for women in Minnesota with an emphasis on: ratification of an unamended Equal Rights Amendment; repeal of all laws restricting safe, legal abortion; protection of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender civil rights; eliminating racism; freedom from violence; and opposition to punitive welfare reform.
Background: The number of children lacking health insurance coverage was estimated at 68,000 in 2004 (most recent reported data), a 21 percent estimated increase compared to 2001. Loss of health care coverage for children under 6 years old was especially dramatic -- up by an estimated 11,000, according to a report released today (Wednesday) by the Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota. The statistical data is based on surveys conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health.
“We are losing ground on health care coverage in Minnesota, and the current leadership has our state headed in the wrong direction. Tim Pawlenty’s deep health care cuts in 2003 and his relentless raids on dedicated health care funds are moving us further from our goal of universal health care. The future of our state is all about our children. Providing our children with health care coverage is essential to their success.
Candidate for Governor Becky Lourey cast the lone dissenting legislative vote today (March 16) on H.F. 2985, making it unlawful to voice protest at funerals.
“As Americans, we stand proudly for freedom of expression; the right is unconditional. The behavior of Fred Phelps’ followers is indefensible. We must not give their actions the power to take away our rights. Our country was built on a foundation of constitutional rights – and one of the most important is the freedom of speech. I will never compromise my convictions for political expediency. I will always stand for freedom.
“The hardest time to stand for freedom is in the face of overwhelming sentiment. This is when the defense of freedom is most important. I will never back down from a vote of conscience. We appear to be losing our ability to respect differences of opinion or have a civil dialogue. Legislating respectful behavior is not likely to help. In fact, more likely it will hurt.”
A Plan with Vision and Hope vs. the Politics of Fear and Division
Senator Becky Lourey, DFL candidate for Governor, announced today (Feb. 15) a comprehensive immigration plan addressing public safety, economic development and education. Titled the “New Minnesotans Security and Growth Plan,” the plan creates opportunities for success as well as promotes economic growth in Minnesota.
“With this package we offer a vision and hope for the future for our growing immigrant communities and state in sharp contrast to the policies of fear and division offered by Governor Pawlenty. This comprehensive, positive immigration plan will not only help to bring all communities together and enrich our state culturally, but can infuse millions of dollars into the Minnesota economy,” Lourey said.
“We are a state of immigrants. Many of our parents and grandparents came to this country and to Minnesota specifically to achieve the American dream,” Lourey continued. “Our new immigrant families want to do the same. We need to eliminate the barriers for achieving success, not promote policies that divide us and make us less safe.”
Excerpted from the 12/23/2003 Executive Intelligence Review
by Carl Osgood
.... Representative Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who has been relentlessly pursuing his own investigation of Halliburton's war profiteering since last April, said that the revelations in the audit add up "to a company that arrogantly is overcharging when they can get away with it and not providing the quality of service that they agreed to do."