Gov. Tim Walz (D-MN) delivered his first State of the State Address Wednesday night and called on members of the Minnesota House and Senate to “write a new story” of bipartisanship.
Walz stuck to his typical off-the-cuff speaking style, and began his address by taking an implicit shot at President Donald Trump.
“We’re not here to send out mean tweets,” he said, though most of his speech focused on a theme of “writing a different story.”
To drive his point home, Walz invited several guests who have been impacted by the debates taking place at the State Capitol, such as a former neighbor from Mankato who lost her husband in a car accident. According to Walz, he was “hit head-on on Highway 14 and killed.”
“That same highway has killed 145 people in the last three decades. It is the most dangerous in Minnesota,” he said. “My passion is not to pick a fight with you about transportation.”
“I will gladly have the debate with you and a compromise to find how we do that. But here’s what I’m telling you: in the 23 years since Charlie has died, that is still a two-lane, dangerous road, and the time has passed to fix them,” he continued.
Walz encouraged the Minnesota Legislature – the only divided legislature in the country – to not let “ideology” get in the way of solving problems.
“We cannot allow ideology to get in the way of educating our children. We cannot let ideology get in the way of stopping this state from providing basic health care to all of its citizens,” he said. “We cannot let ideology get in the way of holding back our mayors and our entrepreneurs of getting things done. And we cannot let ideology get in the way of making sure no one else has to go through what the Ingman family did.”
“So here we go. What are we going to do now? There’s already people who have written us off. You’ve seen the stories – are we headed for gridlock? Are we headed for shutdown? Is it all just a fake? Are they getting along? Those are the people that want to see that,” Walz continued. “Trust me on this: it’s easier to cover the plane that crashes than the one that lands. The story that not just Minnesota needs, but that the country needs is a bipartisan, and split government that came together for the good of the people and moved things forward for Minnesota.”
“We can do what Minnesota’s always done – rise up and create a better way of life. Lead the nation in how things could get done,” he concluded his speech.“Let’s write our own story. Let’s write a new story on how this can end.”
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