Dayton outlines what’s at risk in $1.4 billion budget difference

Public workers laid off during the state government shutdown rally Wednesday at the Capitol.
MinnPost photo by Terry Gydesen
Public workers laid off during the state government shutdown rally Wednesday at the Capitol.

At one level, there is “only’’ $1.4 billion separating Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leadership in the showdown that has led to shutdown.

So, on a budget that would range anywhere from $34.2 billion (the Republican high-water number) to Dayton’s most recent proposal of about $35.6 billion, what does the difference actually mean?

The governor’s office released a chart Wednesday showing its view of the impact of the differences.

The big difference, not surprisingly, is in Human Services.

According to the governor’s office, the two sides are $556 million apart. That gap, the governor says, would “cause tens of thousands of Minnesotans to lose health insurance.’’

The GOP proposal in the Human Services category would cut women’s primary health care services (family planning) by 50 percent. Additionally, the governor claims the gap would force 1,500 elderly and disabled people to move into nursing homes, rather than received home-based care.

There’s also a $435 million gap in property tax aids and credits between what the governor seeks and what the GOP lLgislature wants.

State government funding also is an area of major difference, with about a $219 million gap, according to the governor’s office.

The GOP budget is “booking’’ $97 million more in revenue than is feasible, according to the Department of Revenue. The GOP proposal also reduces the state workforce by 15 percent, a far deeper cut than Dayton wants. Additionally, the Republican plan would increase insurance premiums of state employees by 30 percent, according to Dayton’s office.

And then there’s another biggie, K-12 education.

Not only is there a $128 million gap between the governor and the GOP but there also are substantial policy differences ranging from integration funding to a grading system the GOP wants to apply to each school, a proposal Dayton opposes.

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Comments (10)

  1. Submitted by Ralf Wyman on 07/07/2011 - 10:32 am.

    One comment on cations like “Public workers laid off during the state government shutdown rally Wednesday at the Capitol.”

    I was at a rally last Thursday morning on the Capitol steps. That too was often short-handed by media as “state workers,” Yes, there were state workers there. But I and many of my friends and colleagues who were there are not state employees.

    There is a much broader coalition of people calling for tax fairness, new revenue, and an end to stalemate than just state workers.


  2. Submitted by will lynott on 07/07/2011 - 11:21 am.

    Ralf #1, thank you.

  3. Submitted by David Greene on 07/07/2011 - 11:30 am.

    Unfortunately, the memo doesn’t spell out the consequences of the cuts.

    Take the proposed transit cuts. The Republican budget would end all transit service in about 15 counties. In the metro, it would increase fares 50 cents (a 28% increase for non-rush hour service) and would end at least 1/4 of transit service. Metro Transit has talked of “solutions” such as ending ALL weekend service.

    These are cuts that overwhelmingly fall on low-income people, the disabled and the elderly.

    For those that don’t fall into those categories, consider this: 40% of all commuters to downtown Minneapolis use transit. Imagine the parking nightmare if a good chunk of those people lost access to transit.

  4. Submitted by John Ferman on 07/07/2011 - 11:35 am.

    I would like to see the whole, original document. Can you post it in PDF form that can be saved.

  5. Submitted by Dave Thompson on 07/07/2011 - 12:16 pm.

    While I support the governor’s budget over the Republicans, I think the notion of taxing the rich was Dead On Arrival, because Republicans control the state legislature. It’s time to consider other options for revenue increases. My personal favorite is California’s solution, which is to start collecting sales tax on internet purchases. I would also support a national standard for what’s sales-taxable. If that means adopting California’s standard for which internet purchases can be taxed, so be it. I think this means clothing would be subject to sales tax. Retail stores like Macy’s and Nordstroms would be less resistant to a sales tax on clothing if it was also applied to purchases from Lands End and Zappos.

    As for the argument that a sales tax on clothing would hurt the poor, well, dedicate some of the revenut to programs that benefit the poor. A sales tax on clothing would fully fund Minnesota’s share of the cost of Medicaid and other human services.

  6. Submitted by will lynott on 07/07/2011 - 12:17 pm.

    #3, when you said “These are cuts that overwhelmingly fall on low-income people, the disabled and the elderly,” you forgot to mention that a lot of those folks are workers who will have no way to get to work.

  7. Submitted by Eric Ferguson on 07/07/2011 - 12:23 pm.

    Aren’t policy items supposed to be handled separately from budget bills?

    Anyway, there seems like an obvious compromise if Republicans would just get over their disgust at the word. Dayton lives with some of those cuts and policies he otherwise can’t stomach, and the GOP agrees to cover the difference with tax increases.

  8. Submitted by Steve Rose on 07/07/2011 - 01:02 pm.

    Ralf (#1):

    Regarding tax fairness, be careful what you ask for, you might get it.

    Because the IRS collects the majority of income taxes from Minnesotans and the IRS form is used to calculate Minnesota income tax, I think it is instructive to examine the IRS numbers of whom pays what. In 2008, the top 1% paid 38% of the federal income tax, while earning 20% of the income. In 2007, 1% paid 40%, while earning 23%. Also in 2007, the top 5% (earnings of $157K and up), paid more that the bottom 95%. All according to the IRS.

    So what is fair? Assuming that in round numbers the top 1% earn 20% of the income, what percentage is fair for them to pay, and why?

  9. Submitted by Steve Calvit on 07/07/2011 - 01:59 pm.

    I predict that an elderly or disabled
    person in a republican legislature’s
    district will die as a direct result of
    the govt shutdown, because of a service
    not being performed (like a nursing home
    inspection or case of vulnerable adult
    abuse not being investigated), and that
    this will change the dynamic of this debate.
    It’s sad that this is what will have to
    happen to move the discussion to a compromise.

  10. Submitted by James Hamilton on 07/07/2011 - 03:59 pm.

    Is a comparable document available from the Republican majority, hopefully with more detail?

    I’d like to hear the Republican justification for reducing property tax relief for tenants and not homeowners. Presumed powerlessness? Presumptive DFL voters? There is no economic basis readily apparent to me.

    I’d also like to know precisely which state departments and/or employees the Republicans propose to eliminate. Isn’t this in effect a double dip: cut the program funds (which presumably include staffing) and then come back for a broader cut in the number of employees?

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