Inspite of Electing Dayton– GOP Will Save Minnesota

GOP majorities lay out tax cuts, less spending in budget

by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio March 11, 2011

St. Paul, Minn. — The public got its first glimpse Thursday at how the new Republican majorities in the House and Senate intend to erase Minnesota’s $5 billion projected budget deficit.

For months, Republicans have said that they can balance the budget by spending only as much as the state is already collecting in revenue, and they intend to take in even less.

The Senate budget outline includes $200 million in tax cuts for businesses. House Republicans want to cut $300 million in income taxes on low and middle class Minnesotans. Republican House Majority Leader Matt Dean, of Dellwood, said GOP legislators will rally behind the plans.

“I think we have strong caucus support both in the House and Senate,” Dean said. “We have one plan that’s before us that’s realistic so we’re moving ahead.”

But the level of cuts included in the plan may give some heartburn to some who have to vote for the package.

The House and Senate are both proposing to cut more than $1.5 billion in projected growth in health and human services programs.

They also want to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in state agency spending and nearly a billion dollars in aids and credits to local governments.

Legislative leaders were reluctant to go into detail about the cuts. They say the respective committee chairs will release specifics over the next few weeks.

Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said the public should be concerned about those details.

“It’s very easy to put a budget together on a spreadsheet. They are just lines and numbers. That’s easy,” he said. “But there’s real impacts to real people when you actually get down to the language and all of the line-item appropriations.”

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