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As you are probably aware, we in the Minnesota House of Representatives released our budget plan last week for the next biennium. This is a $33.9 billion budget, which includes $3.8 billion in spending reductions, a two (2) year freeze on state government wages, and $300 million in tax relief to lower and middle class Minnesotans.
In addition, our budget also funds priorities while at the same time lowering the growth of spending. It protects classroom allocations, nursing homes, and veterans, among others.
Governor Dayton’s budget proposal calls for approximately $3 billion more in spending than we’ve ever seen in our entire history. Our House budget proposes nearly 20% less spending than that. Obviously, the question everybody is asking is, “How does he plan to fund this?” The answer is obvious: with additional taxes.
Governor Dayton’s proposal calls for a more than 16% increase in taxes over this fiscal year alone, while our budget proposes a 12% decrease. We are also proposing a 34% decrease in state government spending, while the Governor is proposing a 4% increase. On top of all that, our proposal would reduce our state debt service by nearly 5% more than Governor Dayton’s proposal.
As you can imagine, setting a state budget is not easy. Not everyone will be pleased in the short run. But this budget is designed for the state to live within its means, like the rest of us. We will not allow the Governor’s policies and strategies to leave our families and businesses on the hook for any more taxes. We don’t need to raise taxes. You know it, and I know it. That’s why you sent me here. We need to put more capital back into our economy, meaning we need to create more resources for you, the taxpayer. We can improve government services by reducing waste and fraud, and through reform and innovation, not by raising taxes to exacerbate inefficiency. That is what we are working hard to accomplish.
If you have any questions or comments regarding this information, please let me know. My office phone is 651-296-4244,or please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also hosting my weekly “Coffee with Kathy” sessions on Fridays from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Gorman’s Restaurant in Lake Elmo. Please contact Melissa Hackenmueller at 651-296-9471 to schedule a time to meet. I hope to see you there!
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