Minnesota House and Senate leaders say they will introduce bills to cut aid that is budgeted to go to help cities pay for fire, police and other services. The leaders say this is an extension of Governor Pawlenty’s unallotments in 2010 and cities should be expecting it. The bills do cut other spending, but the largest chunk of the cuts comes from local government aid, a spending item Governor Mark Dayton has said in the past should not be cut.
The GOP says Governor Dayton has been given a “heads up” about the bills. Dayton gave the proposal a lukewarm response.
“I will not agree to piecemeal cuts and partial solutions eliminating the $6.2 billion deficit in the next biennium. I will propose a reasonable, balanced and complete budget solution on February 15th, and I ask the legislature to do the same thereafter, with citizen participation through hearings and very careful consideration of the effects of their decisions on people’s lives.”
House Minority Leader Paul Thissen calls the GOP proposal a “shell game”
Statement from Representative Paul Thissen:
“Today the Republican Majority proposed more of the same in releasing the first half of their budget solution.
Despite big talk about changing the way business is done at the Capitol, the Republican Majority is proposing to continue Tim Pawlenty’s failed policies of the past. It’s only mid-January and the Republicans are already giving up on a permanent, long-term solution to our state’s perpetual red ink by continuing to play the same shell games to balance the budget. These policies will continue the squeeze on middle class families through higher tuition rates and higher property taxes.
Even though today’s proposal addresses half of the budget hole, the Republicans are already breaking their campaign promises to hold harmless our school children, seniors and those who are disabled. This budget permanently cuts transportation for disabled Minnesotans who need to get to doctors’ appointments or the grocery store. Even necessary support for seniors is on the permanent chopping block with permanent unallotment. How many more promises will Republicans break when the other $3 billion in cuts are made?
Minnesotans want to move our state forward to a prosperous future, but all these Republican proposals do is keep us stuck in the failed policies and broken promises of the past.”