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State Representative Paul Thissen

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Posted: Mar 14 2014 2:12PM
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House DFL Unveils Budget Priorities to Build on Minnesota’s Momentum


Priorities build on Minnesota’s economic progress with focus on middle class tax cuts and critical investments in education, job creation and care for seniors

Saint Paul, Minnesota - On the strength of Minnesota’s growing economy and a $1.2 billion budget surplus, House Democrats today announced budget priorities to keep Minnesota moving forward.

Much like Governor Dayton’s recently announced supplemental budget proposal, the House budget plan builds on the progress made in the 2013 legislative session by putting middle class families, students and seniors ahead of wealthy special interests. Highlights of the plan include:

  • Middle class and business tax cuts
  • Statewide investments in education, jobs and economic development
  • Funding for home health care workers who provide care for the elderly and disabled
  • Balanced and stable budget into the future  

The House plan would provide a total of $550 million in tax cuts to put more money in the pockets of middle class Minnesotans and repeal the three business-to-business taxes that were a part of balancing the budget and paying back the school shift in 2013.

The House plan also invests in key priorities to build on Minnesota’s economic progress, including $172 million in job creation for bonding and economic development, $92 million in education, $75 million for health and human services, the majority of which is for a funding increase for home health care workers and nursing homes, and $50 million for transportation, including funding for critical highway and road repairs. The budget also leaves about $200 million on the bottom-line to ensure a stable budget into the future.

“Minnesota’s economy is gaining momentum and more Minnesotans are optimistic about the direction we are headed,” said Speaker Paul Thissen. “Our budget priorities build on the progress we made in 2013 to expand economic opportunity to more Minnesotans. We believe this is the best way to ensure Minnesota has even better days ahead.”

“We are investing in the priorities that we know make Minnesota strong,” said House Majority Leader Erin Murphy. “Our budget priorities will put more money in the pockets of middle class Minnesotans, build on our historic investments in education, and support Minnesota workers and small businesses with job creation initiatives. We are ready to continue moving Minnesota forward.”

Middle-Class and Business Tax Cuts - $550 million

  • Make filing taxes easier and cut taxes for nearly 1 million Minnesotans by conforming to federal tax changes (passed off House floor).    
  • Repeal three business-to-business taxes that are no longer needed due to the state’s growing economy and stable budget (passed off House floor).    
  • Build on successful efforts to reduce property taxes with further property tax relief for Minnesota homeowners, renters and farmers.

Job Creation: Bonding and Jobs and Economic Development - $172 million

  • Provide debt-service for $850 million in GO bonds for a bonding bill that improves infrastructure and creates jobs throughout the state.
  • Boost bonding bill with $125 million for additional critical statewide investments.
  • Build a Greater Minnesota through targeted investments that address economic challenges confronting Greater Minnesota:
    • Invest in more broadband access in Greater Minnesota.
    • Increase economic development resources to support rural job growth and the business sectors critical to rural economies.
    • Provide financial assistance for Minnesotans affected by the propane crisis (already signed into law).
  • Improve Minnesota women's economic security by investing in women entrepreneurs and programs designed to integrate women into high-skill, high-wage careers.
  • Provide bonding authority for $80 million in new, affordable housing around the state

Education - $92 million

  • Provide a funding increase for K-12 schools to help address the costs of teacher evaluations and to further improve education outcomes.
  • Provide more Minnesota children with access to affordable, high-quality early learning opportunities.
  • Fully fund reduced price for school lunches to ensure no Minnesota child is turned away in the lunch line (passed off House floor).    

Seniors & Caregivers - $75 million

  • More funding for home health care workers who provide care for the elderly and disabled and senior nutrition.

Transportation - $50 million

  • Provide additional transportation funding including resources for critical road repairs on highways, roads and bridges as well as statewide rail safety.

House DFL Budget Priorities By The Numbers

$550 million in middle-class and business tax cuts

$172 million in targeted investments in job creation

$92 million in targeted investments in education

$75 million in HHS funding, primarily for caregivers and nursing homes 

$50 million in transportation funding

$194 million left on bottom-line

$245 million of investments is one-time expenditures.

$800 million surplus projected for our next budget cycle in FY 16-17.

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