Today at the State Capitol, organized labor takes center stage. The Minnesota AFL-CIO, together with Education Minnesota, AFSCME Council 5, MNA, IAFF and the Pipefitters will rally at 11:30 a.m. in the Rotunda to oppose the so-called “Right to Work” legislation, which uses Orwellian language while scaling back labor rights. We’ll live broadcast the Working Families Day on the Hill, and grab interviews with individual workers whose lives could be affected by HF 192. DFLer Carly Melin, who won last night’s special election for House seat 5B up in Hibbing, will also make the journey to St. Paul today. And look for content on The UpTake today from Madison, Wisconsin, where new Republican Governor Scott Walker has resorted to draconian tactics to strip public employees of all collective bargaining rights, and even threatened to call in the National Guard if they protest.
Yesterday, Governor Mark Dayton unveiled a proposed state budget that differed drastically from a Republican House and Senate version in that it would not harm local government aid and not raise taxes on 95 percent of Minnesotans, but ask the top 5 percent to carry a heavier tax load than they have been. One GOP supporter we interviewed afterward, Mike Hickey of the Minnesota small business association, claimed that “tax fairness” doesn’t really matter. The GOP and DFL quickly offered diametrically opposite reactions to Dayton’s proposal, and we also spoke to DFL chair Ken Martin about how Dayton’s budget affects his message to suburban and rural Minnesotans. Dayton and GOP leaders will both take their message to outstate Minnesota today.