The governor of Minnesota unveiled his budget proposal called ‘Budget for a Better Minnesota’ days earlier. The initiatives are aimed at reducing the budget deficit along with higher income taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans, and substantial investments in education.
The official press release from Dayton hovers over extensively over the massive allocation of resources in education while strengthening the economy, and revamping an outdated tax system.
“If the investments in my budget proposal are made, they will yield returns in new jobs, private investments, vibrant communities and additional state and local tax revenues; and they will help keep our economy moving forward,” said Governor Dayton. “They represent my best judgment about what Minnesota needs to grow our economy, expand our middle class, improve our quality of life and take care of those most in need.”
The Governor goes on to describe his promise raise funding in education for every year he is in office, according to the press release. The specific areas of education that will receive aid include the following:
- Quality early education for 11,000 children
- Optional All-Day Kindergarten for 46,000 kids
- Increases of K-12 funding by $52 per student
- Increase in student aid for higher education
- Investments in the MnSCU system and University of Minnesota (U of M)
Part of this proposal includes a reform in the tax system-that is requiring the top 2 percent of Minnesotans to pay higher taxes on their income. The 1.4 billion budget will provide property tax relief with a $500 rebate for homeowners in the state of 10,000 lakes. In addition, a reduction to the state sales tax.
News from around the web on Dayton’s budget proposal
The news of the new budget was well received by the U of M, praised on the governor’s initiatives in higher education.
The University President Eric Kaler released a statement responding positively towards the biennial budget:
“The proposed budget announced today by Governor Dayton is good news for Minnesota students, their families, our research enterprise and the university system as a whole. We appreciate the Governor’s strong support, particularly as it follows deep cuts to the U’s state funding during the last decade...”
The news of the budget was immediately criticized by Senate Minority Leader David Hann in the legislature condemning it and to ‘Get ready for more taxes’, according to the Huffington Post.
Elsewhere the Twin Cities Business blog analyzed the tax increases for high income earners and cuts to the corporate tax rage. Towards the end of the article challenges may lie ahead to approve these ‘controversial proposals’.
A more thorough report from CBS Local Minnesota paints a difficult uphill with this budget proposal. It explains what services will be taxed, and groups who are opposing or requesting the tax code to be revised under the new plan.
The dynamics in the political realm are far from a honeymoon. Lots of contention, opposition and friction amongst the different groups. Kind of mirrors the stark divisions in the nation’s capital. It would only be simpler if the political discourse moved to prioritize what needs to get done quickly.