On break, lawmakers bring budget talks home
Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio, March 25, 2013 – State lawmakers will be back in their home districts this week, talking to constituents about the budget during their Easter/Passover break.
Gov. Mark Dayton will also be talking about the budget during town hall meetings scheduled in Moorhead and St. Cloud. The DFL governor’s latest budget proposal looks a lot like the spending targets that House and Senate DFL leaders announced last week.
House Speaker Paul Thissen, D-Minneapolis, said he expects a smooth process in the coming weeks to resolve the budget differences.
“We’re pretty close on our overall values, where we want to make investments and our overall spending targets,” he said. “I imagine there will continue to be some discussions where we need to work out details, but we hope to keep the process as public as possible.”
One key difference in the House plan is that it imposes a surtax on people with incomes of $500,000 or more to pay back a school funding delay that was used to balance past state budgets.
House Minority leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said Republicans will be spending the week talking about the problems they see in the DFL budget proposals. He plans to travel throughout the state pointing out the problems he sees with the DFL budget proposals.
“Minnesota’s economy is recovery and Minnesota’s economy is creating jobs, and it’s happening because we didn’t raise taxes over the last couple of years,” Daudt asserted. “Our case is, if we raise taxes, we’re going to stop that from happening, and it’s going to be bad for Minnesota’s economy and it’s bad for hard working Minnesota families.”