FFM Bulletin: February 22, 2013

February 28 Event: A Discussion and Debate of Governor Dayton’s Tax Reform Proposal
Join the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute next Thursday, February 28, for a discussion and debate of Governor Mark Dayton’s tax reform proposal. The event will feature a panel discussion with former state commissioners followed by a bi-partisan legislative panel, and will take place hours after Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) releases the February economic forecast.

Confirmed speakers include former finance commissioner John Gunyou and former MMB Commissioner Tom Hanson. The event is free and open to the public. Reserve your spot today.

Event: Discussion and Debate of Governor Dayton’s Tax Reform Proposal
Date: Thursday, February 28
Time: Noon – 1:30 pm
Location: Humphrey Institute (301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis) in Room 180
Parking: Ramp across the street from the Humphrey Institute

Short Takes
Dayton’s fraying alliance: Tax experts, economists say Dayton’s business sales tax is a bad idea. And according to the Star Tribune, the proposal is fraying the alliance between Dayton and the business community (to the extent that such an alliance ever existed).

Cautionary tale from Connecticut: The Columbia Journalism Review has a great story on Connecticut’s "growing pains" in creating a state-run health insurance exchange.

Blatant power grab: Duluth News-Tribune editorial calls Governor Dayton’s and the legislature’s proposed changes to the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) a "blatant power grab".

Cut to the bone?: MnDOT plans to spend about 18 months and $600,000 studying the potential benefits of reversing a single lane of traffic for a few hours a day on Cedar Avenue in the south metro. If MnDOT ultimately green lights the project, the so-called "zipper lane" on Cedar Avenue is expected to be completed by the time your grandkids’ grandkids start driving.

Union Watch
Airing out the smoke-filled rooms: Be sure to check out the latest policy report from the Goldwater Institute about bringing transparency to government union collective bargaining. In their assessment of all 50 states’ transparency laws related to government sector collective bargaining, Goldwater found that Minnesota is one of many states with "no explicit or minimal statewide transparency requirements". That won’t come as news to the many Minnesotans who have tried (and failed) to gain access to closed-door negotiations between public entities and government unions. Exhibit A: Minneapolis Public Schools

Sabotage, stalking, and stealth exemptions: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released an excellent report about state laws that contain special exemptions and carve-outs for labor unions. The report, entitled "Sabotage, Stalking & Stealth Exemptions", makes for a fascinating, disturbing, and oh-so-timely read.

Unholy alliance: The Star Tribune reports that Governor Dayton and liberal legislative leaders are in lockstep with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Of course, that in itself isn’t exactly breaking news. But the Dayton-DFL-SEIU alliance is especially potent this session as they pursue common priorities like increasing the minimum wage and pushing child care providers and home care workers into unions.

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