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Governor Dayton releases budget

Governor Mark Dayton released his first budget that raises more than two billion dollars in taxes and cuts a billion dollars of spending from a growing budget that’s headed for a record shortfall.  Dayton proposes raising taxes on single people making more than $100,000, homes over $1 million and a two-year temporary surcharge on incomes over half a million dollars.  “It’s a tough budget with hard decisions, it’s the best I can do” said Dayton who implored the wealthiest 5% of Minnesotans his proposals hits to help out and “if you’re unwilling to do so I fear for the future.”

Republicans who control the legislature, said they were still surprised at the size of the tax increases they think will drive businesses away.  “We’re not going to say it’s DOA, but there’s not much of a heartbeat” for the governor’s budget according to GOP Senate Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel.  GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers used some strong terms calling the budget “feeble and pathetic.”

Democrats praised the governor for following through on his campaign promises, but wouldn’t strongly support the entirety of Dayton’s budget.  Through repeated questions wondering if Democrats support Dayton’s budget or not, House DFL Minority Leader Paul Thissen said “We need to see the details.”  Senate DFL Minority Leader Tom Bakk called the budget “courageous and calculated.”

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