Earlier today, Senate Republican leaders unveiled their budget targets for setting the state’s next two-year budget. In response, Senate DFL Caucus leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, offered the following statement:
“When this legislative session began in January, our caucus laid out two key principles: protect the pocketbooks of middle-class Minnesotans and rebuild Minnesota’s economy. Unfortunately, looking at the budget targets released today, I’m concerned the Republican budget is going to fall far short on both measures.
Just like the past eight years under Gov. Pawlenty, it appears the Republican majority is going to push another “no new taxes” budget filled with hundreds of millions of dollars of hidden taxes on middle-class families.
Despite their rhetoric of “living within our means,” we need to be perfectly clear with Minnesotans: the Republican’s all-cuts budget is going to drive up property taxes on every homeowner, renter, and business in the state. It will drive up the cost of tuition on every family trying to send their kids to college. It will raise health care costs on every Minnesotan.
It’s clear that an all-cuts budget is going to threaten our fragile economic recovery and hurt our long-term competitiveness. State Economist Tom Stinson came to the capitol last week and told us that an all-cuts budget will do more harm to our economy than the balanced approach favored by Gov. Dayton.
Looking at these targets, it also appears that an all-cuts budget is going to have terrible consequences for our schools, colleges, and universities. These types of short-sighted budget cuts may help solve our current budget crunch, but will hurt our long-term economic competitiveness.
The choice between Minnesotans is becoming clearer everyday. Gov. Dayton has put a budget on the table that protects the pocketbooks of middle-class Minnesotans, and moves Minnesota’s economy forward by investing in education and innovation. Republicans, on the other hand, want to continue the failed policies of Tim Pawlenty at the expense of middle-class Minnesotans.”