Emmer releases final phase of his budget plan ‘filled with hope and frustration’

Republican candidate for governor Tom Emmer released the third and final phase of his budget plan “filled with hope and frustration.” He says he’ll hold harmless education, public safety and the courts. It was a rather rare press conference at the Capitol in front of the Press Corps, but reporters still probed for details. Emmer said he “provided more detail than anybody else.” But he refused to drill down on the biggest and fastest growing part of the budget, health and human services. Reporters wondered who would lose services. Emmer said his trimmed down HHS spending will “focus on children, seniors and vulnerable adults.” The Republican said he’ll reduce the government workforce through attrition and retirement. Local Government Aid will be scaled back to focus on “essential services police, fire, water and sewer.”

Meanwhile Democrat Mark Dayton took Emmer’s challenge to have his budget checked out by the Department of Revenue. Deputy Campaign Manager Katharine Tinucci said, “The information we received from the Dept. of Revenue shows us what we already know: there is no single solution to raising the revenues needed to make Minnesota’s taxes fair and to fund essential services, like education. We will continue to look for additional ways to raise revenue that will make Minnesota’s taxes more progressive. Mark Dayton is the only candidate with a tax plan that will protect the middle class, by making taxes fair again in Minnesota, rather than expanding the regressive sales tax, as Mr. Horner proposes, and the even more regressive property tax, as will Rep. Emmer’s non-proposals.”

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Mohammed Ali Bin Shah on 09/15/2010 - 10:49 am.

    Repeat after me. “A reduction in a proposed increase is not a cut in spending.”

  2. Submitted by James Hamilton on 09/15/2010 - 12:30 pm.

    Mr. Shah:

    Rep. Emmer has proposed cuts in current (2010-2011 biennium) funding in these areas:

    Higher education , $312 million (>11% of it’s current funding).

    State aids and credits, $681 million (22% reduction in current funding levels).

    State agencies and “other state spending”, $553 (>8% below current levels.

    That’s $1.5 billion, not including the plan to further delay repayment of the $1.9 billion withheld from school districts. I, for one, would like to know where that is expected to come from.

  3. Submitted by Robert Langford on 09/15/2010 - 01:40 pm.

    Don’t you get it? If you tell the big lie often enough, people quit asking for details and your statement becomes the new truth. Emmer is telling the big lie so often, he is achieving a truth status for his claim that he can really reduce spending to the level that will match income, all without raising taxes. What is so hard to understand about that?

  4. Submitted by Mohammed Ali Bin Shah on 09/15/2010 - 03:54 pm.

    James,

    My comments were specifically targeted to the earlier version of this story that had Mark Dayton quoted regarding the “cuts” in K-12 education that were actually a $500M increase. This article has been re-written and certain quotes and comments removed.

    As for actual cuts – Mr. Emmer is setting priorities – something that Mr. Dayton has refused to do, except for his #1 priority of raising taxes.

    And Robert, yes you can reduce spending to meet revenue, something that Dayton does not want to do, because it does mean making hard choices.

  5. Submitted by Mohammed Ali Bin Shah on 09/15/2010 - 06:30 pm.

    James,

    His proposed K-12 budget is $500M MORE than the last biennium. It is less than the unions wanted. Therefore, to the left, it is obviously a cut.

  6. Submitted by Mohammed Ali Bin Shah on 09/15/2010 - 06:32 pm.

    James,

    As for the actual cuts – Mr. Emmer is setting priorities – something that Mr. Dayton has refused to do, except for his #1 priority of raising taxes.

    And Robert, yes you can reduce spending to meet revenue, something that Dayton does not want to do, because it means making hard choices and not raising taxes.

  7. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 09/17/2010 - 05:19 pm.

    Is any journalist ever going to ask Rep. Emmer exactly how he plans to simultaneously cut taxes, cut spending, and generate surpluses in order to pay down our state debt? Maybe even show him a graph of where we actually spend our tax money and the tiny sliver that his ideas comprise of that total?

    Don’t let him slide with vague hand waving as if he has any sort of actual policy suggestions, make him give you specific cuts to specific programs in a magnitude that will generate a surplus.

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