This legislative session has been about making tough choices. The Republican-led Legislature has made clear choices; cutting higher education to levels not seen since 1998, attempting to dismantle labor laws, eliminating health care for thousands of Minnesotans, increasing fares for public transportation, and raising property taxes by approximately $1 billion. Under the current majority in both the Minnesota House and Senate, middle class families will continue to feel the squeeze that they have felt for far too long. While cuts are necessary, the extent of cuts purposed by Republicans is irresponsible and will fall predominately on middle class Minnesotans. We need a balanced approach that ensures that everyone pays their fair share in this difficult budgetary environment.
Instead of compromising and reaching a deal with Gov. Dayton, Republicans have decided that it is more important to protect the top two percent of the richest Minnesotans. The governor has moved half-way from his original position, while Republicans refuse to compromise beyond their devastating all-cuts budget. We need bipartisan negotiation for a deal to be completed and I look forward to agreeing on a pragmatic solution to the budget.