With the third and final legislative deadline Friday of this week, committees have been working overtime to move their budget bills to the Senate Finance Committee. Though these budget bills cover a wide range of areas – Education, Transportation, Housing – the common theme was that they fall short of meeting the needs of Minnesota.
Despite a historic budget surplus, Senate Republicans have proposed little if any new support for issues like school funding, childcare, or affordable housing. In some budget areas, they even added obstacles that make it more difficult for Minnesota to access federal funds. At a time of crisis for thousands, they are leaving money on the table.
Throughout the week, Senate DFLers on the Finance Committee have been asking, “Where will we be spending money?”. We got that answer Thursday, when Senate Republicans brought their tax bill to the floor, a bill that favors the wealthy while ignoring the areas where costs are rising fastest.
Their priorities could not be clearer. Senate Republicans are spending eight times as much money on tax breaks for people making $250k or more per year as they are on their education budget.
If Senate Republicans were serious about addressing rising costs, they could have joined Senate DFLers in crafting tax relief that targets those who need it most.