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MN lege: GOP seems bent on a hard-line budget showdown

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MN lege: GOP seems bent on a hard-line budget showdown

by Dan Burns on April 10, 2017

minnesota_state_capitolAt least, that seems the readily apparent interpretation, to me.
 

Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner Myron Frans held a state Capitol news conference Wednesday to say the budget proposal Dayton released in January and updated last month is fiscally responsible, while the House and Senate GOP plans are not.
 
“The Legislature’s math just does not add up,” Frans said.
 
Frans accused Republican leaders of using “fuzzy math,” as well as “phony savings” and delayed payments to pay for a large tax cut bill. He suggested many of the bills could be headed for vetoes if not altered.
 
Frans highlighted several examples in the finance bills for Health and Human Services and State Government.
 
“The legislative budget bills we have seen are not serious attempts to govern Minnesota,” Frans said. The bills are designed to be talking points to start negotiations with the governor from an imaginary position, a made up starting point if you will.”
(MPR)

And here’s an example of that “starting point.” Legislators in the Party of Trump actually have the gall to call it the “Minnesota Way.” They should be saying the “ALEC Way.”
 

The Minnesota budget blueprint produced (March 20) by majority House Republicans seeks hefty tax cuts and aims to pare down expected costs in publicly subsidized health and welfare programs.
 
GOP leaders said their framework would deliver long-overdue tax relief given a sizable state budget surplus. The plan would make $1.35 billion in tax cuts the next two years with the details to come later.
(MPR)

 

I really wish that MPR, which is supposed to be the objective, “serious,” not corporate-controlled news source, would quit using bulls*it conservative framing like “tax ‘relief.’” But I suppose that a good deal of MPR’s and TPT’s audience is older, relatively well-to-do Republicans who consider the likes of Fox and Breitbart beneath them, but still primarily expect to have their own motivated reasoning reinforced when they check up on politics. And I suppose that “public” media doesn’t dare risk having those people leave their checkbooks in their desk drawers during the next pledge drive.
 
This, from the North Star Policy Institute, exposes the Senate tax plan for the groveling gift package for the rich man that it is. The House tax plan is similar.
 

– This, from the Strib, righteously rips what the GOP is trying to do with the Legacy Amendment funds.
 

As in Washington, Republicans are in charge in the Minnesota Legislature — for now. And in the House, under the leadership of Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown (Isanti County) they’re having some fun this session attempting to unravel the state’s environmental protections, as evidenced by the $500 million Legacy bill the House has passed.
 
Recall the Legacy Amendment was approved by Minnesota voters in 2008 by a wide margin. This was a constitutional revision that nearly 60 percent of voters favored — an amazing statistic, given that the question asked was whether voters wanted to raise their taxes to support stewardship of the state’s woods, waters, fields and wildlife; enhance and expand state parks and trails; and promote the state’s arts and cultural heritage.
 
Recall also this was in 2008, in the depths, or nearly so, of the great recession.
 
Placing the question on the ballot was no small feat. More than 10 years passed from the time the idea was proposed in the Legislature by hunters and anglers to the day lawmakers relented, most of them reluctantly, and allowed Minnesotans, finally, to have their say regarding the welfare of their state.
 
Now comes Republican control of the Senate and House, and members of the latter chamber are betting they can pull a fast one — or five, or 10 — on Minnesotans by loading up this year’s Legacy bill (and other bills) with policy and funding adjustments that inhibit, and even stop, conservation progress in the state.
(Star Tribune)

– There may not be a bonding bill, again. Almost certainly, whatever the House does produce won’t come close to measuring up to what’s needed. Much of the Party of Trump doesn’t believe in smart investing for the future.
 

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