ST. PAUL –State Representative Steve Green said negotiations on a new two-year state budget continue in an effort to strike a deal before the Legislature is scheduled to adjourn at midnight this Monday.
The Fosston Republican indicated tax increases proposed by House Democrats and Gov. Tim Walz are the main items of contention in reaching an agreement.
“We’re in the final hours of the session and, so far, no agreements have been made,” Green said. “We’re hoping that we can get by with no new taxes. The $12 billion in new taxes [proposed by House Democrats and Walz] is ridiculous. So far, from what I’ve heard, they have hardly compromised on that, if at all. Another big thing for us is the [health care] provider tax, the ‘sick tax’ we call it. This is a tax that most people believe is going to fund Minnesota Care. The truth of it is that most of Minnesota Care is funded through federal dollars now and there’s maybe a sliver of the provider tax that’s going to help Minnesota Care. It appears as though the money they want this for would be for a long game. After the next election, after Walz’s four years is over, then they’ll be starting to implement ONECare, a single-payer system in Minnesota and this is the funding they want to use. So it’s important that we continue to let the provider tax sunset at the end of the year.”
The Legislature is scheduled to adjourn at midnight this Monday.