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June 17, 2011
Yesterday Republican legislative leadership made yet another offer to Governor Dayton as we work towards a consensus compromise budget that reflects Minnesota's priorities. The offer would remove our tax relief from the final budget--considered an "expense" in government fiscal terms--in return for the Governor dropping his proposed income tax increase. While we believe Minnesotans and our economy would be well served by tax relief, we also recognize a government shutdown or tax increases will yield nothing but harmful results.
Our second compromise offer in as many weeks once again refines the complete, balanced budget we passed prior to the end of the regular legislative session. As the details continue to be worked on, the overarching principle is that we can balance the budget and fund Minnesota priorities without raising taxes. Revenue growth of six percent is enough to increase spending on K-12 education, health and human services, public safety, and the critical services our people rely upon.
Unfortunately, the Governor rejected our compromise yet again. He remains cemented on spending growth of nearly 13 percent paid for by a nearly $2 billion tax increase. It is becoming more clear that the Governor would rather shutdown government an cease payments to our health care providers and schools than recognize that we can balance the budget without raising taxes.
As I've said before, Minnesotans do not need a tax increase and Minnesotans do not need a government shutdown. What Minnesota needs is a final budget that balances state spending, promotes job growth and sets our state on a sustainable path. The Legislature has offered that package yet again. It remains to be seen whether the Governor will act on the needs of Minnesota rather than the wants of government.
Know that I will continue to stand up for responsible, sustainable solutions. Also know that I value your feedback and involvement. Your questions, concerns and ideas are always welcome. Together we can bring responsibility back to government, job growth back to Minnesota, and create a stronger future for us all.
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