The Minnesota House and Senate will be all about their budget bills this week beginning with agriculture, taxes, jobs and transportation just on the first day. Governor Mark Dayton sent legislative leaders a letter laying out his expectations as they begin budget negotiations. Dayton said he’ll begin serious budget talks once the entire legislature passes one position after conference committees. The governor also said aside from small expenditures that mirror his budget proposal he “will not favorably consider a single budget bill without knowing its relationship to a complete and balanced budget solution.”
The Republican legislature touted “living within our means” and “balancing the budget without raising taxes.” Democratic lawmakers like Sen. Dick Cohen (St. Paul) said “It is the single largest general fund budget ever, ever in the state of Minnesota.” Republican lawmakers such as Sen. Geoff Michel (R-Edina) said the DFL needs to reconcile their talking points that “this is either an all-cuts barbaric budget or the biggest budget.” The actual meaning of cuts, increases, taxes, revenue will all be terms to pay attention to as the budget debate plays out.