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Early last week, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed nine budget bills passed by the Republican-led legislature and lawmakers adjourned with no spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. Since releasing his initial budget plan in February, the Governor has called for a balanced approach to handle the state’s $5 billion shortfall.
Many Republicans in the legislature believe that the only way to fix the state’s books is to cut spending, including tax credits for low-income families.
“I chose a balanced approach to our budget,” Governor Dayton said, “one that included both significant cuts, but asked the top two percent of Minnesotans to pay more to ensure our quality of life and the services millions of Minnesotans depend on. My approach chooses not to balance the budget on the backs of the other ninety-eight percent of Minnesotans.”
The budget presented to the Governor, by contrast, included proposals that would slash aid to local governments and the state’s renters’ credit, which is an important anti-poverty tool.
Dayton sent a letter, along with his veto, to the Speaker of the House stating, “Your tax proposal would require most Minnesota property owners and renters to pay higher property taxes,” because the massive cuts to local governments “would result in significant property tax increases.”
Dayton’s veto letter goes on to say, “…your bill then directs over $200 million from those cuts to expanded tax expenditures for corporations and others.”
Since the legislature adjourned without a budget, it will need to meet in a special session. What is not at all clear is how the Governor and legislature will come to some sort of compromise. The Governor has said, “I’m in the middle, and they haven’t moved.” Read more about what to expect from the Minnesota Budget Project.