The regular legislative session ends in exactly one week and Minnesota still has a $5 billion deficit. Governor Dayton has shown up ready to work and committed to bettering our state since he took office in January. He again demonstrated this commitment to the people today when he offered GOP leaders a compromise on his budget plan.
In an effort to speed up the budget balancing process, Governor Dayton offered to meet Republican leaders halfway by proposing $1.8 billion in spending cuts and $1.8 billion in tax increases. Governor Dayton has taken initiative on the budget balancing process and offered an olive branch to Republican legislators. If Republican leaders refuse to compromise with the Governor on this matter, Minnesotans will know who is responsible for delaying this process.
“For them to want me to go all the way over to their budget target, it’s not compromise, it’s not reasonable and it’s not realistic,” Dayton said. “I’ll go half-way, I won’t go farther.”
Governor Dayton believes that raising taxes on a fraction of the state’s wealthiest citizens would be better for the economy and the Minnesotan people than a budget made up of only cuts. He recognizes, however, that a practical, honest solution to getting our state back on track must combine adding new revenue and some cuts.
Minnesotans agree with Mark Dayton.
A new Star Tribune poll shows that a budget solution mixing tax increases and budget cuts has support from a strong majority of Minnesotans.
Sixty-three percent of respondents said they favor a blend of higher taxes and service reductions to tackle the state’s $5 billion projected deficit. Just 27 percent said they want state leaders to balance the budget solely through cuts.
The numbers speak for themselves. Republican legislative leaders just don’t get it. In March, state economist Tom Stinson told Minnesota that tax increases are better for the economy than budget cuts.
Republican legislative leaders didn’t listen.
The people are saying that they support a mix of tax increases and budget cuts to balance the state budget.
Will Republicans listen to what the people want?
Republicans are willing to shutdown government and start a special session to protect the top two percent of income-earners in Minnesota. Governor Dayton is having an honest conversation with Minnesotans about the realities of fixing the budget deficit and trying to go about the process in a fair and open manner. Minnesotans support Mark Dayton and his approach to balancing the budget.
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