A few months ago now, on January 7, at Saint Paul’s Fitzgerald Theater, Tim Walz was sworn in as the new governor of Minnesota. He is the first Governor to work with a budget surplus in more than twenty years. Tim Walz will be working towards plugging gaps in healthcare and education, just to mention a few of his goals.
Take also a look at the following video about Tim Walz being sworn in as the 41st governor of Minnesota on Monday, January 7. To the Minnesotans that did not vote for him, Mr. Walz said, “I’ll be working hard to earn all of your trust and I’ll be your governor as well. Let’s take a look:
Governor Tim Walz will be fighting for equality in his home state where often, your ZIP code or race can determine your trajectory. Gov. Walz used his first speech to set his home state of Minnesota apart from Washington DC with its deepening economic, racial, and social division gripping.
At a time that the federal government was getting into the longest shutdown in American history, Mr. Walz stated that Minnesota’s executive branch was all set to operate in a different way and he pledged to cooperate with the state’s Republican legislators. At the inauguration ceremony, Governor Walz laid out his plans to enhance education for all children, make healthcare more affordable for all, and improve Minnesota’s infrastructure.
Peggy Flanagan, Tim Walz’s lieutenant governor, is actually America’s highest-elected Indian woman in Minnesota’s history and the impressive inauguration in Saint Paul reflected that very well. Mrs. Flanagan said she will work hard to show young Minnesotans that so much is possible. The inaugural ceremony was characterized by many moments of family and levity as Peggy Flanagan’s daughter was showing off a newly lost tooth and Tim Walz’s kids took a few selfies with their father before he got sworn in.
Tim Walz is actually the first Minnesota Governor since Jesse Ventura who inherits a budget surplus. This will give his administration much more room to move for tackling issues beyond a seemingly endless budget crisis but those days have gone, for now. Walz, a National Guard Army veteran, an avid veterans’ issues advocate and a former history teacher, invoked past governors’ messages as he remarked that Minnesota was faced with seemingly insurmountable problems and challenges in the past but had overcome so many of those.
Today, Minnesota is facing an enormous shortage of affordable housing opportunities and really should deliver more affordable, better, and more effective healthcare solutions, Walz said. But first, he addressed geographic and racial disparities in both economic and educational opportunities not only in Minnesota but across America and the situation in which so many veterans, the ones who sacrificed so much for our freedom, are today. See also: “Who do we fight? “We’re not trying to save the world. We’re trying to honor those who did.
Mr. Walz mentioned some of his priorities like expanding opportunities for more affordable childcare, investing in the state’s worsening infrastructure, improving access for more people to affordable housing options of decent quality, and providing local leaders and communities with the right tools and means they require to be successful. But as said earlier, Education and all of its related issues are Tim Walz’s top priorities.
One of Tim Walz’s biggest hurdles probably will be getting support from the Minnesota Senate where the Republicans hold a 2-seat majority. Over the past few months, Paul Gazelka, the Senate Majority Leader, R-Nisswa, already voiced his concern a couple of times with several of Walz’s plans including raising the state’s gas tax. Gina Countryman (MN Action Network) also expressed her concerns about Governor Tim Walz promising to raise all taxes on Minnesotans while Minnesota is already among the nation’s highest taxed states. See also this short biography of Mr. Walz.
On the other hand, Melissa Hortman, Minnesota’s Incoming House Speaker, D-Brooklyn Park, said Tim Walz had shown he’s open to bipartisanship at a time that there’s so much divide in our nation’s capital. Mr. Walz has a pro-active personality and he is expected to have the ability to navigate Minnesota’s divided Legislature.