Even though the 2011 Legislative Session adjourned without an agreement, I am hopeful that a compromise will be achieved without a government shutdown. This session has shown many ways in which Republicans and Democrats can compromise and find common ground, as we did with environmental permitting and alternative education policy.
Gov. Dayton has eliminated some of his tax increases and has agreed to delay payments to school districts through the school aid shift made by the Legislature last year. Even with this delay, the Legislature and Governor must still fill a $3.6 billion dollar deficit. Gov. Dayton has purposed a compromise to cut $1.8 billion and raise $1.8 billion in new revenue. The new revenue would be raised by creating a 4th tier income tax on married couples who make more than $300,000 and single individuals who make more than $180,000. The Republican majority has refused to increase taxes to help offset the deficit, at the expense of the middle class. The nonpartisan Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates that, under the Republican plan, property taxes will increase by approximately $1 billion statewide.
Without an agreement by the end of June, the impact of a government shutdown will damage our economy and hurt many families in our communities. Because of the potential harm of a shutdown, it is important that all parties come to the table and find a compromise.