State Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL – Golden Valley) released the following statement about the potential use of tobacco bonds and school borrowing to resolve the state’s budget deficit.
“Using tobacco bonds and borrowing from our schools to balance the budget would make for the most irresponsible budget in our state's history.
We have never borrowed money against future revenue to fund current operations in the history of the state. When Governor Pawlenty proposed this scheme, nearly every legislator voted against it. In addition, borrowing nearly half of the annual school funding from school districts will cause chaos for our schools and mortgage our children’s future.
More debt and more borrowing only make this bad situation worse. We should expect bond ratings agencies to further downgrade our state’s rating, as they rightfully should if we continue to neglect the realities of the budget crisis facing our state. Starting with the Jesse Ventura rebate checks, Minnesota has steadily marched down a path toward a fiscal crisis, like we have seen in other dysfunctional states.
This budget agreement compromises our state’s future."