Senator John Marty statement on Republican Constitutional Amendment to Limit the Budget

“With less than three weeks left in the legislative session, the Republican-led majority has yet to produce a balanced budget. Instead of delivering a budget solution, the Republican majority proposed a constitutional amendment to tell future legislators how they should do their work.

This constitutional amendment is so extreme that the GOP doesn’t intend to offer a budget that would comply with this proposal during the current session. Furthermore, not a single budget proposal of former Gov. Tim Pawlenty would have met these requirements.

If this is such a great idea for the future, the current Republican majority wouldn’t be making excuses; they’d apply it to the budget they are adopting this year.

It’s time to take on their phony rhetoric about belt tightening–you don’t lose weight by simply tightening your belt.

As you put on weight, the ever-tighter belt simply pushes the problem elsewhere. Look what happened in Colorado–their school funding plummeted compared to other states after adopting a similar provision. Colorado even suspended a state requirement to vaccinate all school children because they couldn’t afford the vaccines.

Here in Minnesota, under the belt-tightening of Pawlenty’s “no new taxes” budgets, property taxes have gone through the roof. Under this constitutional amendment, property taxes on homeowners and renters will go through the stratosphere.

Weight isn’t lost by simply tightening your belt; you figure what is causing the weight gain and work to fix that problem. For example, if health care costs are growing too fast, the cause of growth must be addressed.

This amendment would push even more of the cost onto families and local governments. It is not responsible, and it is not fair.

This is one more Republican attempt to distract attention from the fact that they still haven’t passed a budget plan with time running out.”

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Senator John Marty
John Marty represents Roseville, Lauderdale, Falcon Heights and northern St. Paul.

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