I am believer in the political maxim that "elections have consequences". Election consequences are measured from one election to the next. In the Minnesota House which the GOP party gained control after the November 4th elections, consequences will be measured based on output in the next two legislative sessions: 2015 and 2016.
Leaders in the GOP party spoke often about outreach to communities of color particularly new Americans like the Somalis. This is a unique opportunity to follow through that talk with legislations that help improve the lives of real people in economically struggling community.
The biennium budget for Minnesota will be set in the 2015 legislative session. The House under your stewardship is where budget legislation process starts. Of course, the Governor, a long-time friend of the Somali community will present his preferential budget targets and the DFL control senate will have to concur but it's your chamber, Mr. Speaker, that will primarily determine whether the Somali community gets a fair share of the approximately $17B state budget.
The alternative is that those with adequate representation made up of loyal legislators and highly paid lobbyists will continue to get bigger and bigger slice of the pie and those under- presented will continue to get empty rhetoric wrapped around conceptual view of liberty and making state government smaller, albeit at their expense.
Mr. Speaker, you along with legislators you put in charge of House committees have the power to alter that course by making sure education, healthcare, and jobs are priorities in the House bills.
The Somali community will be watching closely on how bills coming from the House address efforts to help overseas trained professionals to practice medicine in Minnesota. This was done under the energy and jobs omnibus bill before. The community will also be watching efforts to support people with mental health and women's health in particular previously done under the health omnibus bill. In the education front, the community is looking forward continue state support for Augsburg College to train Somali speaking teachers & administrators to address public school staff disparity.
There's no doubt opposition to these priorities from the Governor and the DFL control senate will be minimum as demonstrated in the last two sessions. The new variable is the change of speakership from DFL Paul Thissens to GOP Kurd Daudt. This is simple variable to measure in the next election.