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ST. PAUL – A bill that was recently approved by the Minnesota House designed to eliminate the state’s $935 million budget deficit is nothing more than a “garbage bill,” according to State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont).
“Our liberal leadership had a chance to rein in some wasteful spending and reprioritize how our state funding is spent,” Gunther said. “Instead they took the easy way out and added a bunch of terrible policy provisions that will guarantee the governor’s veto.”
Gunther said House leadership wants to eliminate the deficit by nearly wiping out the state’s savings accounts and increasing taxes. Their bill would raise taxes and fees on businesses by $232 million, and take $350 million out Minnesota’s cash flow account and $250 million from Minnesota’s budget reserve.
Overall government spending was only reduced by $128 million, which Gunther said will cause problems in the future.
“The non-partisan state economists already project a $1 billion deficit for next year even if this budget bill becomes law,” Gunther said.
Gunther also noted that dozens of policy initiatives were also approved in what was supposed to be a finance bill, including provisions that are pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage.
“The bill literally contains thousands of provisions from all areas of state government,” Gunther said. “It’s not only a bad way to solve the deficit, but it’s a bad way to do business in the legislature.”
Gunther said the bill now heads to a joint House/Senate conference committee, where a compromise supplemental budget bill will be crafted.
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