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Rep. Winkler will propose constitutional amendment banning budget borrowing

State Rep. Ryan Winkler is one of the many lawmakers who doesn’t think the current plan of borrowing and shifts is a good way to resolve the budget crisis, so he said today that he’ll propose a constitutional amendment next session to outlaw the used of appropriation bonds to balance budget deficits.

Winkler, a DFLer from Golden Valley, said he’s got support from both parties.

A budget agreement announced Thursday would used about $700 million from bonds supported by future tobacco settlement funds.

Winkler’s plan, if acted upon, wouldn’t affect this year’s deal, but he said it would prevent  the budget practice from being used in the future. 

“We are constitutionally required to balance our budget every two years — that’s the right thing to do,” said Winkler in a statement. “Borrowing from our future revenues is simply using a loophole to skirt our constitutional responsibility and we should never do it again.”

He said the borrowing and shifts will add to deficits in the future:

“Dysfunctional states like California reached a fiscal crisis because they didn’t face reality and solve their budget problems. I am introducing this constitutional amendment because I don’t want to pile any more debt on top of my children.

“I think everyone will admit that putting our current deficit on the credit card is bad for Minnesota and we should retire this irresponsible budget practice for good.”

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 07/19/2011 - 01:08 pm.

    ” we should retire this irresponsible budget practice for good.”

    Fine. But — please — not without a foolproof way to assure that the state raises enough revenue to meet its needs, and to raise it through fair progressive taxation instead of shifting its responsibility to local property taxes and “fees” on local government services.

    I hope Representative Winkler will rethink his amendment. He will probably find that the Right no longer supports it, however, if he tries to make a case for requiring fair and responsible revenue raising. So perhaps we citizens should be prepared to vote NO lest this amendment enable the anti-tax/anti-government crowd.

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