“As the clock ran out on the regular legislative session, I said that 2011 was a colossal failure of leadership on the part of the Republicans. Little did I know that missed deadline was only the beginning of Republican failures to lead For the next 6 weeks, Republicans would be so stubbornly stuck to protecting millionaires that they would actually shut down our state.
And I certainly didn’t know that the only way we would be able to end that shutdown would be to enact what can only be described as the most irresponsible budget it state history.
The fact is that this is a beg-borrow-and-steal budget. It borrows and steals from Minnesota’s future and begs the people of our state to look the other way as once again you simply kick the can down the road.
Let’s be very clear – the Republicans put tobacco bonds and the school shift on the negotiating table. This is a Republican proposal, a Republican budget for which you are responsible.
We will be debating the Legacy Bill later, but the real Republican legacy is leaving at least $4 billion in debt for the next legislature to fix.
And for what? That’s the most ridiculous part of all of this. There is no possible excuse for what Republicans did – for your utter refusal to do your job and to get it done so poorly when you actually did your work.
After all, over 60% of the people in our state – a state you pledged to serve – said in multiple polls that they wanted the richest in our state to share in the budget balancing responsibility.
You say that we can’t tax job creators. An excuse repeated thousands of times that flies in the face of fact or history. Yet you raise the largest tax businesses pay – the property tax – with this budget.
You say businesses will leave the state. Yet we heard from small business owners in East Grand Forks that they were moving across the river not because of business or income taxes, but because of property taxes. We heard from Park Rapids resort owners who said that cutting LGA would be the worst thing you could do to their business.
And guess what you are doing in this budget? Cutting the 1 thing those businesses said was critical for them to survive.
The lengths to which this Republican majority will go to protect corporate special interests and the richest of the rich are astounding. Their budget forces the state to beg from seniors and the disabled with draconian budget cuts, borrow money to temporarily fill the deficit with one-time funds, and steal from our children’s future by expanding the K12 school shift.
The fact is, you stand for the wrong people. Middle class families are struggling in this state. They are paying more and more, but getting less and less.
But who did you choose to balance this budget on?
The backs of those exact middle class families. And you balance this budget squarely on the backs of our children – our future. You borrow and spend and mortgage our future; all to preserve the façade that you did your job.
Well let me be clear – you didn’t do your job because you were elected to serve the people, not just the richest few. You didn’t do your job because you couldn’t finish your work in the regular session. You didn’t do your job because you shut down our state. You didn’t do your job because you didn’t protect the people’s interests, you protected the richest special interests. You didn’t do your job because you didn’t solve the problem, you begged, borrowed, and stole.
Republicans have nothing to be proud of today. In fact, Republicans have every reason to hang your heads in shame.”
House Majority Leader Matt Dean responds to criticisms of the Republican borrowing bill