Governor Mark Dayton delivered his first State of the State address today to a packed House chamber. He highlighted five areas in need of investment: jobs; education; transportation; health; and transformation of government.
There was no mention of the biggest investment Minnesota must make: investing to prepare for our aging population. By 2020, there will be more senior Minnesotans than school-age children, and yet Gov. Dayton failed to address this looming challenge.
The governor spoke of the need to increase revenue in order to invest in his five identified areas in order to get Minnesota back on top in national status and put Minnesotans back to work. But again, not addressing the Age Wave will make this investment that much harder.
The Long-Term Care Imperative released the following talking points in response to the address:
- We are encouraged by the Governor’s emphasis on jobs and economic growth. Older adult service providers are economic development engines in Minnesota communities, providing over 112,000 jobs and $6.7 billion to Minnesota.
- We ask the Governor why he did not recognize the importance of older adult service providers to Minnesota’s seniors and our state. As our population continues to age, older adult service providers are on the front lines of delivering cost-effective, community-based services people want and need.
- A vision for a prosperous Minnesota must address the needs of Minnesotans at every stage of life. As baby boomers begin to turn 65, we challenge Governor Dayton to articulate a vision about how we will take care of our growing senior population.
Governor Dayton will release his budget proposal next Tuesday, Feb. 15. He has already promised an increase in revenue as well as investments in transportation and an annual increase in K-12 education spending every year for the four-year term. Until the budget is released, we will not know his level of commitment to Minnesota’s older adults.
The full text of the speech is available at http://mn.gov/governor/images/State-of-the-State.pdf.
Please visit Aging Services of Minnesota for more information.