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Saint Paul, Minnesota –House DFL legislators joined Minnesotans who are being left behind by the House Republican budget plan, which they will begin to take up for votes on the House floor this week. House DFL Leader Paul Thissen said the Republican budget leaves behind kids, working families, and greater Minnesota in order to help corporate special interests get further ahead.
“The Republicans have made a choice that tax breaks for corporations and special interests are more important than educating our kids or investing in Minnesota’s future,” said House DFL Leader Paul Thissen. “These are the wrong choices for a better future for Minnesota. With a $2 billion surplus and growing economy, we should embrace this chance to create more opportunity for all Minnesotans to get ahead.”
Despite a $2 billion surplus, the Republican budget plan would result in teacher layoffs, wage cuts for working Minnesotans, higher tuition, and more expensive health care coverage. At the press conference, legislators were joined by teachers, parents, servers, and other Minnesotans who would be negatively affected by the Republican budget:
Jeanne Scaar, an adapted physical education teacher at Centennial Middle School talked about the impact of shortchanging education funding.
Leslie Hodgson, farmer from Fountain, Minnesota and MinnesotaCare enrollee, talked about the impact of the Republican plan to eliminate MinnesotaCare.
Nancy Swanson, a server at the Green Mill in Willmar, talked about the Republican “tip penalty” plan to cut wages, which is included in their omnibus jobs bill.
Anna Angeles-Farris, a custodian for ISD 194 Lakeville talked about the frustration that the Republican education bill would result in layoffs in her district.
Monica Hass, a St. Paul mother who was joined by her 3 children, talked about the important of pre-K investments, which are ignored in the Republican budget plan.
The biggest reason Minnesotans are being left behind is that Republicans are focused on a massive tax giveaway that favors corporate special interests. The largest permanent tax break in the Republican plan seeks to eliminate the statewide business property tax for all corporations and businesses. When fully phased-out, this amounts to $5 billion in corporate and business tax breaks over the next eight years.
“There’s no question the biggest long-term winner in the Republican budget is big corporations that would get billions in tax breaks,” said Thissen. “These tax cuts are incredibly short-sighted. Not only would our schools and students be shortchanged this year, they would likely pay the price down the road because the Republican plan is a recipe for budget deficits in the future.”
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