Walz uses State of the State to call for new story

Published 8:29 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Gov. Tim Walz has called on Minnesota to write a new story about how a government divided between Democrats and Republicans puts aside ideology and comes together for the good of the people.

Tim Walz

The Democratic governor used his first State of the State speech Wednesday night to say the state of the state is “strong.”

And he used it to share the stories of eight Minnesotans watching from the House gallery to put human faces on the policy debates underway at the Capitol, highlighting education, health care, stronger communities and transportation.

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Walz told lawmakers that debate is healthy, but urged them to keep in mind that behind every single debate they have, real people are impacted.

Leaders from both parties said afterward they’re ready to try to find common ground.

Walz invited eight special guests to his State of the State address to put human faces on the policy debates at the Capitol.

They included Will Handke and Ross Pomeroy, twin brothers who were students of Walz when he taught at Mankato West High School and went on to start a snack bar company. Walz used their story to highlight the need to invest in education so every child gets the opportunities they did.

He also used a Twin cities pediatrician, Dr. Nathan Chomilo, and Goodhue County dairy farmer Deborah Mills to highlight the need for access to affordable, quality health care. A mother of a Mankato family who lost their father in a crash on U.S. Highway 14 was invited to emphasize the need to improve the transportation system.