Republicans’ first budget fix of the legislative session makes the previous Republican governor’s budget unallotments permanent for about a billion dollars in deficit reductions. But in the current budget cycle the GOP is looking to state agencies to stop $200 million from going out the door. “When you’re out of money, stop spending” is the message from Ways and Means Chair Mary Liz Holberg (R-Lakeville). DFL Gov. Mark Dayton responded “I will not agree to piecemeal cuts and partial solutions eliminating the $6.2 billion deficit in the next biennium.”
The cuts to future projected spending hit local government aids and higher education the hardest. Holberg said “I don’t think any of these are easy targets.” The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities sent out a statement saying “this proposal has zero reform and is just more of the same: a continued shift in the tax burden onto middle class families and businesses and deep cuts to the communities they call home.” Republicans plan to take local aid “back to its original purpose” and cities and counties have planned in a variety of ways, some still counting on the money and others eliminating from their budgets.