An Ex-Governor’s Perspective On State Of The State

MINNEAPOLS (WCCO) — With only hours until Gov. Mark Dayton’s State of the State address, former Minnesota Gov. Arne Carlson sheds light on several issues he would approach in the address, starting with the budget.

Dave Lee Interviews Former MN Governor Arne Carlson

Carlson said a governor has to be optimistic and have a good vision for the future. On the other hand, he also has to be realistic, recognizing that the state has a $6.2 billion deficit.

“We’ve had quite a few years of all the gimmicks and all the borrowing. Minnesota borrowed to sustain a spending system that they could not afford or would not pay for,” he said. “We did exactly what we criticized Washington for doing and I think that era is coming to an end.”

Another topic Dayton may approach is education and all-day kindergarten. Carlson said he strongly supports any effort to improve early education.

On the new Vikings stadium, Carlson does not think it is a priority.

“With all due respect for the love of sports,  etc. I think you got to focus on fixing the state’s financing, getting the bond credit rating up, balancing the budget, improving education, providing for more educational choices and for growing jobs.”

“If a Vikings stadium fits into those priorities, fine,” Carlson said. “But if it doesn’t, I just don’t see it coming up as an item.”

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