Grace Kelly over at Minnesota Progressive Project points us to a statement from State Rep. Erin Murphy about where the budget burden falls.
As the House developed our budget targets, our caucus took a careful look at what a "cuts only" strategy would look like for Minnesota. It isn’t pretty. Even with full use of federal recovery dollars, a "cuts alone" approach would require deep spending reductions in every area of government.
If we cut all education categories 4 to 5 percent (over $1 billion in cuts) all other sections of the budget – environmental and natural resources, health and human services, local government aid – would all face cuts in the range of 20 percent or more. Under these cuts, over 12,000 school employees across the state could lose their jobs, tuition at the U of M and MnSCU would rise significantly, 10 percent of all hospitals and 33 percent of nursing homes would close, 3 prisons would need to close, and property taxes would increase by as much as a billion dollars to offset part of the cuts to local governments.
We cannot cut our way out this budget deficit. This fact is acknowledged in both the House and Governor’s budget proposals, each which employs new revenue to close the deficit. However each proposal takes a different approach on the question of revenue.
Rep. Murphy is right. To get our state back on track, we need a comprehensive budget-balancing solution that puts middle class families first by focusing on the right priorities. That means putting everything on the kitchen table – like making our tax system more fair — and Governor Pawlenty refuses to do that.