There is no real movement to report from the Capitol on the subject of setting a new state budget. With a week and a half to go before adjournment, talks are in a holding pattern with wide gaps yet to be resolved between the House, Senate and Gov. Tim Walz.
The big hangup centers on the fact House Democrats and the governor are proposing $12 billion in tax increases – including raising the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon, making our state’s gas tax the nation’s fourth highest.
The Senate Republican majority and House Republicans both oppose those tax increases. To this time, the governor nor the House majority have not expressed a willingness to move off those tax increases.
General agreement on spending totals for each of the various subjects in the state budget will need to be reached before conference committees can get down to brass tacks and put forward a final proposal for each body to consider for approval.
Again, time is winding down, so let’s hope the old cliché proves true and deadlines have a way of producing results.
I will keep you posted as things develop on the budget. As always, I will be keeping a close eye on the ag. section of the budget and also am pleased to have been appointed to the conference committee working on ag. policy.
For now, I would like to wish you a happy Mother’s Day this weekend and also best of luck to anglers who get out for the fishing opener. Please be safe on the water.
Also, on a final note, I’d be remiss if I didn’t send my best to farmers who are now getting into planting. This wet weather is holding things up a bit, so let’s hope for better conditions to come our way so that we can get this year’s crops in the ground and off to a good start.