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State Representative Carlos Mariani

203 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-9714

For more information contact: Peter Grafstrom 651-296-5524

Posted: May 8 2015 12:00AM
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E-Update

Minnesota Needs a Fair and Balanced Budget


Friends,

For your knowledge, below is the “Big Eight” comparing Governor Dayton’s budget proposal – which I support - to the budget bills passed by the House GOP Majority – that I opposed.  Please contact me directly with any questions.

With a once-in-a-generation surplus, Governor Dayton is pushing for new investments in education and transportation which I support.  His budget provides tax cuts for more than 350,000 middle class Minnesota families.

In contrast, after working to get ourselves to the point where we can afford to make new important investments with a surplus, House Republicans are instead pushing $4 billion in permanent tax cuts for corporations and special interests.  They want to kick 100,000 working families off health care, cut job creation programs, and shortchange our children’s futures.

1. E-12 Education – $537.9 Million Gap

Governor Dayton’s budget would send 47,300 four-year-olds to preschool for free, continue early learning scholarships for over 10,000 kids, eliminate the Head Start waiting list for 2,400 young children, increase funding for every school district in Minnesota, and make important investments to improve student achievement and help all our children achieve their greatest potential.

By contrast, the House GOP plan:

• Provides very limited new funding for essential classroom needs

• Provides no funding for universal prekindergarten

• Provides no funding for school breakfast for our youngest learners

• Eliminates funding for Regional Centers of Excellence, which have helped narrow student gaps in struggling schools

• Provides no new funding for special education

• Provides no new funding for Head Start, forcing 2,400 kids to stay on the waiting list

• Provides no new funding for EL students

• Eliminates opportunity for all high school students to take the ACT

2. Higher Education – $226.4 Million Gap

Governor Dayton’s budget would freeze tuitions for over 317,000 students at the U of M and MnSCU, expands the State Grant Program for 7,500 more students, increases State Grant awards for an additional 93,000 students, and helps 250 American Indian students pursue higher education.

By contrast, the House GOP plan:

• Potentially raises tuition at the U of M by as much as $730 per year

• Raises tuition at MnSCU campuses by as much as 3 percent

• Cuts $53 million from the State Grant Program, making college more expensive for 85,000 students – increasing their tuition burdens by $250–$659 per year

• Provides no new funding for American Indian Scholarships

• Provides no new funding for the U of M Medical School

3. Health and Human Services – $1.493 Billion Gap

Governor Dayton’s budget would make critical investments in initiatives to strengthen families, prevent child abuse, improve mental health, provide additional outreach to parents of at-risk children, provide support and shelter for homeless and sexually-exploited youth, and seek long-term, sustainable solutions for Minnesota’s health care systems.

By contrast, the slashing House GOP plan:

• Books $530 million in fake budget “savings” irresponsibly leaving a $283 million hole in the state budget

• Eliminates MNCare, the reliable, affordable health care for 90,000 working Minnesotans and their families (44 % who live in Greater Minnesota)

• Cuts funding for child care assistance for working families

• Eliminates funding for the Statewide Health Improvement Program, which has helped communities across MN reduce smoking, obesity, and chronic diseases

• Eliminates home visiting services for high-risk pregnant women

• Shortchanges funding for mental health providers

• Provides no new funding for grants to prevent Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

• Provides no new funding to address local public health needs in Greater Minnesota

4. Transportation – $3 Billion Gap

Governor Dayton’s budget would invest $6 billion over the next ten years to address the state’s highway funding deficit, invest $2.356 billion in local government transportation projects, and would provide $2.92 billion for transit systems across Minnesota.  The Governor’s proposal would create an estimated 119,000 new jobs, and build the infrastructure necessary to meet the demands of a growing population and an expanding state economy.  It would repair or replace 2,200 miles of roads and 330 bridges statewide, increase Metro Area transit ridership by 80 percent, and increase transit service in Greater Minnesota by 500,000 hours annually.  It would invest $330 million in critical railway safety improvements.

By contrast, the House GOP plan:

• Takes $4 billion from the General Fund over ten years (funds that would usually go towards education and other essential services) to fund roads and bridges

• Cuts $723 million from the Metropolitan Council over the next ten years.  This stalls development on needed transit projects, raises transit fares, and forces significant cuts in bus service

• Provides $325 million less than the Governor for critical railway safety improvements and eliminates positions essential to improving railway safety.

5. Taxes – $1.7 Billion Gap

Governor Dayton’s budget proposal would expand the Working Family Tax Credit to more than 287,000 middle class families, expand the K-12 Education Tax Credit to 16,800 more middle class families, and expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to 130,000 Minnesota families. Over 350,000 Minnesota families would see a reduction in their taxes.

By contrast, the House GOP proposal:

• Cuts taxes by $1.9 billion this biennium with $4 billion in permanent tax cuts for corporations and special interests.

• Keeps corporate tax loopholes

• Makes no changes to the Working Family Tax Credit, denying 257,000 middle class families additional tax relief

• Spends over $170 million to permanently cut the Estate Tax for the wealthy

• Cuts property taxes for railroads hauling oil and other flammable loads; protects them from paying new assessments that would make 327,000 Minnesotans safer

• Targets only Duluth, St. Paul, and Minneapolis, cities that elect Democrats to the Legislature, for tens of millions of dollars in Local Government Aid cuts.

6. Capital Investment – $842 Million Gap

Governor Dayton has proposed a Jobs Bill that would make critical investments across the state in infrastructure projects statewide, creating more than 23,900 Minnesota jobs.  The Jobs Bill would fund a critical drinking water system in southwestern Minnesota, make port improvements statewide, upgrade college classrooms and laboratories, make needed safety improvements for highway rail separations, and replace two old veterinary laboratories with new labs to help Minnesota meet new disease challenges (including avian influenza).

By contrast, the House GOP proposal:

• Provides no new investment in critical infrastructure statewide

• Provides no funding for labs to help fight diseases like avian flu

• Provides no new security improvements at prison facilities

• Provides no new improvements to MnSCU and U of M campuses

• Provides no new investments in essential flood mitigation projects

• Provides no new investments in critical railway safety infrastructure

7. Economic Development – $41.5 Million Gap

Governor Dayton’s budget would continue investments in the successful Job Creation Fund and Minnesota Investment Fund.  It would make additional investments in broadband infrastructure, and help unemployed and under-employed workers gain the skills they need to find good jobs.

By contrast, the House GOP proposal:

• Cuts MN Job Creation Fund by $5 million and the MN Investment Fund by $7 million, impeding job growth, limiting MN’s ability to compete with other states for business expansions

• Provides $22 million less than the Governor for the Broadband Infrastructure Grant Program – greatly limiting the expansion of access to high speed internet connections in Greater Minnesota

• Provides no funding for the Pathways to Prosperity workforce training initiative to serve individuals with barriers to employment

8. Public Safety – $66 Million Gap

Governor Dayton’s budget proposal would fully-fund the state’s Disaster Contingency Account, provided needed funding to properly-operate the Judicial System, and provide more police to track down dangerous fugitives.

By contrast, the House GOP proposal:

• Under-funds the state’s Disaster Contingency Account, leaving MN less prepared to meet the needs of unforeseen natural disasters.

• Under-funds the Chief Justice’s request for judges & public defenders

I’m always here to listen, learn, and help.  Contact me any time by email at rep.carlos.mariani@house.mn or phone at 651-296-9714.

 

Thanks for your time,

Carlos

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