How Senate Republicans are planning to respond to Dayton’s budget

MinnPost file photo by James Nord
Senate Minority Leader David Hann has directed his staff to develop three pieces of legislation on education reform as an extension of Hann’s response to Dayton’s initiatives.

Over the next several weeks, Minnesota Senate Republicans will roll out their response to the budget initiatives Gov. Mark Dayton unveiled this week: a series of policy proposals on education, transportation, health care and the Metropolitan Council.

“Governor Dayton has always challenged [Republicans] to come up with our own ideas and not just criticize his — and he’s right,” said the GOP caucus policy director Bill Walsh.

Walsh said Senate Minority Leader David Hann has directed his staff to develop three pieces of legislation on education reform as an extension of Hann’s response to Dayton’s initiatives. “We’ve been using this ‘throw more money at it’ approach to education for decades and it hasn’t worked,” Hann said of Dayton’s plan to spend almost half of the state’s $1 billion budget surplus on education.  “Where is the education reform package.  Where are the new ideas?”

The GOP caucus in the state Senate is also working on what Walsh calls “a pretty substantive transportation package,” akin to the Republican House proposal.  “Our goal is to make a dent in transportation without raising taxes,” Walsh said.  He added, “It may be more significant than the House.”

Other than the transportation proposal, Walsh said the legislation would not have a budget component.  Budget proposals are usually left to the governor and the majority caucuses. But Walsh says the legislation will be germane and timely. “You’ll see it in the next few weeks.  Now is the time before committee deadlines,” he said.  “If you don’t get your policies out there, you’re irrelevant.”

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 01/29/2015 - 11:44 am.

    GOP Budget

    Let me go out on a limb here and guess at what the GOP budget will look like. It’ll include tax cuts for the wealthy and businesses, slashing money for human services, borrow money from schools, slash LGA, but only for large cities, and defund the ACA website.

    Did I miss anything? Oh, and they’ll put a rider in there to ban abortions after the first thirty minutes.

  2. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/29/2015 - 12:29 pm.

    Get ready for the “cut” word

    Let me guess – the GOP will be “cutting” programs for “children” and do not care for the “poor” and “elderly.”

    Have we heard this before?

    I guess the only way to measure compassion is by taxing and spending.

  3. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 01/29/2015 - 12:39 pm.

    ….Hann has directed his staff to develop three pieces of legislation on education reform as an extension of Hann’s response to Dayton’s initiatives. ..

    I would have thought the they would have come prepared to the session.

    “I need 3 education reform bills, NOW !!”

    That makes for good governance, yup.

  4. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 01/29/2015 - 03:12 pm.

    The 3 Bills?

    No to education. No to transportation. No to healthcare. The republican typical trifecta

  5. Submitted by Jim Bernstein on 01/29/2015 - 03:52 pm.

    Want To Bet?

    You can bet that two of three educational “reforms” will include some form of vouchers and the other will be to eliminate or restrict teacher seniority as a consideration for staff reductions. The other “reform” I suspect, will grease the skids for more charter schools or even private schools.

    Republican education “reforms” are nearly always aimed at weakening public schools in urban districts with significant numbers of lower income students. Republican’s seem to enjoy stepping on people who may not have the same opportunities or same good fortune in their lives as those who are well off.

    • Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 01/29/2015 - 04:33 pm.

      Since urban schools are doing so well…

      Yes, we need to curb the power of the most powerful special interest group in the State – Big Union Education.

      Let us have real reform…. Let us give opportunity for the urban kids to escape the failed system that has entrapped them in failing schools. Let us give parents a choice if they want to send their kids to the union schools or a private school. What are the unions so afraid of?

      Hopefully Parents will be able to choose between union-trickle-down education or an education system that empowers the poor and most vulnerable.

      • Submitted by Todd Hintz on 01/29/2015 - 05:02 pm.

        Private Schools

        People can already send their kids to a private school–just go and pay for it yourself.

        I think it’s a hoot that a conservative is actively using the phrase “empowers the poor and most vulnerable.” If conservatives really were that concerned with the downtrodden they would have voted for unemployment extensions during the Great Recession and would fight for universal health care instead of trying to repeal Obamacare.

        • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 01/29/2015 - 06:55 pm.


          We need to make sure that everyone can go to a private school. And to daycare. And pre-school. And to college. At no cost.

          How many people were dying in the streets when the unemployment extensions were finally stopped maybe one year ago?

          As a nation we are about $17 trillion dollars in debt. Universal health care might well double that unless people are willing to pay for it. And by people, I mean everyone, not just the 1%.

  6. Submitted by David Therkelsen on 01/29/2015 - 07:31 pm.

    “It hasn’t worked”

    I’ve paid attention to Sen. David Hann over the years. I don’t share his political outlook, but I’ve formed the impression that he is smart, and he is thoughtful. (This is not a redundancy!)
    If Hann believes education policies over 30 years have not worked, and thus should not be perpetuated, I find myself curious as to what he thinks about Republican trickle-down economics. It’s abundantly clear since the early 1980s that nothing trickles down. Quite the opposite.
    So as a matter of both state and national fiscal and taxation policy, would Sen. Hann say the same thing: what we’ve done over a long period of time hasn’t worked, so we need to do something different.

  7. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/30/2015 - 12:11 pm.

    We’re back to magic again

    ““Our goal is to make a dent in transportation without raising taxes,”

    So we’re sticking the “no new taxes” pledge. That’s new?

    “We’ve been using this ‘throw more money at it’ approach to education for decades and it hasn’t worked,”

    Actually, no we haven’t, republicans have been cutting education budgets and spending for over a decade, and THAT didn’t work. All they did was drive up tuition’s, class sizes, and disparities.

    Judging from Hann’s “responses” here republican’s still have zero connection with reality. They’re still preoccupied with the same magic that produced serial deficits, perpetual budget crises, and collapsing bridges… not to mention their own debt i.e. they had a spending problem not a revenue problem.

    The problem with magic is that it’s actually dishonest on a basic level, it’s illusion and deception. We’ve seen this republican promise to find inefficiencies before and simple fact is that government isn’t nearly as inefficient as republicans think it is, it’s actually a lot less inefficient than the private sector in many ways. Time after time, and this time again, promised savings from “efficiency” will fail to materialized much the same way magic revenue from tax cuts always fails to materialize. So instead balanced budgets or surplus’s we’ll get budget cuts. The promise of efficiency ends up being an excuse to cut programs republicans don’t like, and a way to dismantle government rather than pay for it.

    Fine, go for it. This is best way to lose in the next election cycle.

  8. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 01/30/2015 - 10:59 am.

    The last time we republicans “reform” education was a disaster

    A lot of people seem to have forgotten this but we let the republicans take the lead on education a few times the past, and it’s always been a bust. First you have to remember the scare mongering around the “back to basics” movement in the late 70s early 80s. THAT was a backlash against liberal innovation and experimentation in the public schools. Innovation and experimentation that would be sorely missed in later years.

    Having wiped out innovation in the public schools republicans followed up by reviving the old voucher/charter school proposals from the 60s and 70s. You have to remember those charter/voucher plans were originally racist responses to desegregation. It’s not a coincidence that charter schools and vouchers have increased disparity and segregation over the last ten years or so.

    So 40 years after the back to basics assault on public schools republican education policies have yielded more segregated schools, charters that under perform their public counterparts, higher tuition’s, and underfunded public schools.

    But hey, let’s blame the Unions for everything.

    Part of the problem is that on a very very basic level conservatives and republicans can have a hard time separating religion from anything else. They don’t understand that the function of secular education is to teach people HOW to think, not WHAT to thing or BELIEVE. This failure of comprehension leads to these weird curriculum and policy battles that have dominated republican education policy and stunted our education system.

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