Today, House Republicans released their supplemental budget targets for the session.
It’s bad enough Republicans are releasing budget targets with only six weeks of session left, after the first committee deadline, and after spending time so far mostly on bills to please Republican base voters that have no chance of becoming law, but the targets themselves showcase their backwards priorities.
Despite a $900 million surplus, Republicans plan to cut budget areas including agriculture, public safety and bonding. They propose no additional investment in E-12 or higher education, despite significant efforts made by non-Republicans to expand pre-K access and address the growing problem of student debt. They do propose to (finally) invest in rural broadband infrastructure, after ignoring Greater Minnesota last session which resulted in a lot of criticism. They continue to talk solely about roads & bridges, despite not including transportation on their list of budget targets, and not proposing anything new beyond last year’s failed plan to shift one time money and not solve our state’s transportation woes long-term.
“House Republicans will focus on what matters for middle-class Minnesotans including tax relief for families and fixing Minnesota’s roads and bridges,” said Speaker Kurt Daudt, (R-Zimmerman/Crown/Stanford Township).
Speaker Daudt is continuing to repeat his talking points about roads and bridges and helping families, even though the main beneficiary of the GOP budget will likely again be corporations through the phaseout of the statewide business property tax. Taxes isn’t on the list of budget targets either, because that bill to benefit corporations and the wealthy instead of working Minnesotans is also still in conference committee from last year.
No matter how they spin their budget, it’s clear Republicans aren’t putting working families first. They should be focusing on making the economy work better for everyone, not just the wealthy.