Opinion editor's note: Star Tribune Opinion publishes a mix of national and local commentaries online and in print each day. (To contribute, click here.) This commentary is included among a collection of articles that were submitted in response to, or are otherwise applicable to, Star Tribune Opinion's June 4 call for submissions on the question: "Where does Minnesota go from here?" Read the full collection of responses here.


In considering the future of our state, Minnesotans should look to the 2024 election to move away from extreme one-party control.

Minnesotans are now familiar with the far-left policies delivered last legislative session. Despite razor-thin legislative majorities, the DFL shunned bipartisanship and instead delivered tax hikes despite a surplus approaching $20 billion, a 40% growth in Minnesota spending and a slew of new predatory regulations on small businesses. In aggregate it was the worst session for jobs, wages and economic growth in Minnesota's history.

Polling shows that Minnesotans are not happy. Only 37% of our state's residents approved of the legislative session.

As I have traveled the state on behalf of the Minnesota Private Business Council, I have met with countless business owners and their employees and the consistent sentiment is disbelief in just how kooky our state's leaders have become.

If you are one of those Minnesotans who is uncomfortable with the state's sprint to the militant left, there is only one solution: Elect a Republican majority to the Minnesota House in November 2024.

Now many of you reading this commentary are Democrats or independents who don't usually vote Republican. But no matter whether you're right, left or center, if you don't like just how far left our state has gone — and let's be clear that some of the legislation passed would make sociology professors at Macalester blush — the only solution is to restore a semblance of balance via a Republican House.

With races for governor and the Minnesota Senate deferred until 2026, a Minnesota House controlled by Republicans would simply act as a check on the strangest elements of the Democratic Party. It would move the state away from what has become a remarkably arrogant Democratic majority and instead mean that any legislation moving ahead will be a forced compromise between a Democratic governor and Senate on the one hand and a Republican House on the other.

If Minnesota doesn't change course in 2024, the state could see a variety of new policies that are devastating for Minnesota's future. Only 3% of Minnesotans believe their taxes are too low, but massive new spending commitments made this session (with likely more to come) combined with dismal economic growth would almost certainly result in more new and increased taxes. We could see a new top tax rate, new sales or investment taxes or other tax hikes that died last legislative session but that could be resurrected at any moment. It is not unrealistic to expect that Minnesota could become the highest taxed state in the nation (moving up from our No. 4 spot on this infamous ranking).

Or following a legislative session in which the party in power, in a stunning display of cluelessness, responded to our public safety crisis by reducing criminal sentences, the "progressive" party in power could take further steps to make us less safe, such as eliminating cash bail.

Or we might see that truly absurd bit of policymaking proposed by Democratic legislators this past session: a ban on gas-powered lawn mowers.

All these and much else will be on the table because, if a Democratic Minnesota House is reelected, the message the hard left will take is that Minnesotans approve of their job-killing and opportunity destroying policies.

Recently Democratic state Sen. Aric Putnam remarked, "I'm actually not a big fan of one-party government. I prefer disagreement … because it makes better ideas."

Minnesotans should take Sen. Putman's sentiment seriously and move away from one-party government in 2024. Such a result will put a brake on the madness and send a message to our state's politicians that will be remembered going forward.

Minnesota has historically been a state that has rejected fanaticism on either side of the political divide, instead embracing a governance of responsible consensus. Minnesota needs that now more than ever, and my organization will work with all people of good faith to restore balance and sanity to our state in 2024.

Jim Schultz is the president and CEO of the Minnesota Private Business Council (growthmn.com) and was the Republican candidate for attorney general in the 2022 election.