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'Open for Business' signs irritant for some Minnesotans

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River Falls Journal
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River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Wisconsin's new Republican governor is taking the same tactic as Minnesota GOP legislators to help the economy: finding ways to help businesses so they can create more jobs.

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Gov. Scott Walker toured his state Tuesday, including stops in Hudson and Superior next to Minnesota, touting that Wisconsin is "open for business." Twenty-three signs saying that are being posted at entrances to the state.

Walker pointed out Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's support for a tax increase on the wealthy as evidence businesses should move to Wisconsin.

"Not only am I working hard to attract business to the state, but the new state Assembly and Senate is already working on legislation in many areas to make the state more business-friendly," Walker said in Hudson. "That will include lowering taxes for businesses and farmers, improvements in access to health care -- we will make sure that our message is more than just a sign. We are serious about improving the business climate and ultimately balancing the budget."

Talking to reporters later, Dayton would not criticize Walker for trying to lure away Minnesota businesses. He said he wants to cooperate with his neighbor to the east.

Minnesota state Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, quipped that if Walker has money to erect those signs, he should pay off a $58 million tax bill Wisconsin owes Minnesota. Walker said the new signs cost less than $1,500, but he did not say how much he spent flying around the state announcing the signs.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
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