Over the past week, the Minnesota House has debated and passed most of the major budget bills that will help close our record budget shortfall and position Minnesota for short and long term economic recovery.
Altogether, our budget framework cuts spending by $1.6 billion in order to close our record $6.4 billion deficit, more than $100 million more in cuts than the Governor’s has proposed. However, the cuts in the House plan are more balanced to preserve jobs, health care, and education.
Our budget plan also recognizes that in these trying economic times, we mustn’t have businesses as usual. In every budget bill, we have
included innovative reforms and enhanced oversight to improve the
quality and efficiency of government.
All of the budget proposals, including the Governor’s, use new
revenue to balance the budget because Minnesotans expect basic programs and services like hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. The House plan includes the biggest tax reforms in 20 years, making our tax system fairer by closing corporate tax loopholes and rescinding tax breaks that disproportionately benefit upper income Minnesotans. On a vote of 130-2, the House bipartisanly rejected the Governor’s proposal to borrow $1.6 billion over the next twenty years to pay $1 billion of our current budget deficit.
I have included in the Snapshot below a summary of the major budget bills we have passed so far this session. Over the next several weeks, the House and Senate will meet in conference committees to reconcile differences between House and Senate bills. I will be serving on the House Higher Education Finance conference committee.
If you have questions about any of the major budget bills, please
contact me. I look forward to working toward a budget solution that will see our community and state through these trying times.