St. Paul – Today, in its fifth special session, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed a $1.9 billion spending and debt bill on a vote of 100-34. This vote came at a time when the state is facing a more than $4.7 billion revenue shortfall while ignoring the constitutional requirement to balance the budget by reducing spending or raising taxes.
In a statement, Munson said, “If a Minnesota family faces a nearly unsurmountable income loss, it may be reasonable to place necessities such as a plumbing repair bill or fix to a leaky roof on a credit card, but not tickets to a concert or TVs. Today we didn’t see this kind of fiscal restraint. Instead, we witnessed government pull out the credit card and go on a $1.9 billion shopping spree buying concert venues, sports stadiums, and over a hundred million in subsidies for businesses like Google.”
Munson continued, “The bonding bill has increased State spending and must be offset by making significant cuts to our existing and future budgets. Only after we have cut down to the bone, and balanced our budget to live within our means, should we even entertain spending more money which will need to be offset by even deeper cuts.”
Next month, fiscal staff will release a revised revenue forecast, which is expected to show the state’s deficit has dramatically increased beyond the $4.7 billion shortfall.
“We will be making significant cuts to the Health and Human Services and Education budget to balance our budget. Every dollar the legislature spent today must be taken from another program. Funding skate parks, bicycle paths, and bailing out government for the Minneapolis riots comes at a cost,” said Rep. Munson. “Bonding bills need to focus on critical infrastructure projects like roads, sewage systems, and bridges. Often, small communities cannot afford to pay for these necessary projects on their own. In these cases, bonding proceeds can be helpful tools. However, the bonding bill that was brought before the Minnesota House was littered with ridiculous projects that cater to Minnesota’s richest metro cities.”
Rep. Munson concluded, “Projects that improve the lives of people from Waldorf and Vernon Center are essential. I worked very hard to include those projects in the bill. Unfortunately, Democrats filled this bill up with tens of millions of dollars to bail out Minneapolis. As such, the bill did not meet the standards I have for bonding bills. Instead, we should vote individually on every bonding project that comes before the legislature. Simply lumping every bonding proposal into one massive bill is not good legislating.”