Governor Dennis Daugaard opens the 2015 Session of the South Dakota Legislature on Tuesday, January 13, with his State of the State Address. Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota delivered his inaugural address Monday in St. Paul, the day before the opening of the Minnesota Legislature.
Governor Daugaard, please plagiarize this speech:
But are all of our students learning what they will need – to find good jobs and achieve success in the world that awaits them? If we’re going to improve people’s lives in our state, we have to improve their educations. We have to create a State of Educational Excellence.
How? By investing in it.
There’s a big difference between spending and investing. Spending is for now. People spend money to buy what they need or want right away.
Investing is for the future. People invest money now to produce future benefits and rewards.
Wise financial management requires understanding this difference. And striking a proper balance between them.
In the coming months, we will make important decisions about spending or investing a projected state budget surplus of one billion dollars. We could spend it to provide goods and services for more people. We could spend it to provide tax cuts for some people.
I recommend that our top priority be to invest it in a better future – first and foremost, by investing it in Excellent Education. This means elevating our citizens’ educations from good to excellent.
And making that educational excellence available to everyone.
...for the sake of our state’s future, I will dedicate the next four years to regaining our state’s position as a national and global leader in education excellence [Governor Mark Dayton, prepared text, second inaugural address, St. Paul, Minnesota, 2015.01.05].
Governor Dayton espouses some policies I oppose, like year-round school. But he's right on target with the principle that education comes first.
Enough with Governor Daugaard's trickle-down fantasy that if we pour our resources into favors for business, someday we'll see economic growth that will translate into more tax dollars to invest in education. That's like going to the racetrack and betting on the horses while telling yourself that if you win, you'll put your winnings back in your IRA. That policy doesn't work. Let's adopt Governor Dayton's philosophy of investing now, investing early, and investing directly in kids, the way government should.