It was Gov. Dayton's time for center stage last night as he gave his state of the state speech. And the governor insisted that political leaders cannot afford to keep delaying difficult tax and spending decisions. Dayton delivering the annual speech in the state House chamber. He says that income tax cuts in the late '90s were followed by a decade where Minnesota's economy fared worse than the nation as a whole.
Dayton also endorsed same-sex marriage; a remark that sparked a lot of talk on an issue lawmakers might tackle later this session.
Meanwhile, a Minnesota legislative panel will hold a hearing today on a proposal to double the state's cigarette tax. Influential Minnesota House Democrat Ann Lenczewski wants to raise the tax to $2.83 per pack. The governor wants to raise the cigarette tax by 94 cents a pack. Lenczewski is chair of the House Taxes Committee, which will review the proposal at a hearing this afternoon.