Posted: 05/13/15 09:47
by Dave Mindeman
Look, people, I think there is an 80% chance that we have a special session over the budget. And a 70% chance of a partial shutdown. The two sides are just so far apart, it looks impossible.
So, you won't read it, or look at it..and you may even laugh at it, but here are some suggestions for compromise.
1. First of all, two billion dollars in tax cuts is just ridiculous on its face. If House GOP wants tax cuts so bad, then go with the tax credit for regular Minnesotans. It sunsets after two years and will give the GOP a talking point on giving some of the surplus back. But the business property tax cut and the estate tax cut are just too ludicrous for words. Why should business who profits from property use get a cut, while the rest of us who simply live on our property make up the difference? And the estate tax deal only affects a handful of rich people. What's the point?
2. Although universal Pre-K is the ideal and hopefully the longer term goal, targeted scholarships for low income students is acceptable.
3. MinnesotaCare should be off the table. Period. But if the House wants those other $300 million in cuts - then please, use some real numbers. The phantom number that is proposed cannot be negotiated because no one seems to know where it resides.
4. In transportation, maybe the DFL should cut the gas tax request in half and then use the House proposal to take a portion of the surplus for transportation. (Get rid of the revenue shift to only roads and bridges - dumb idea) And if everybody is bold enough, the metro sales tax increase for transit should go through because the metro favors the tax increases in total. Allow them to at least meet some of their transit requests. That still is not going to meet all of the needs of Minnesota's transportation infrastructure. More kicking the can, but at least its new revenue.
5. And for pete's sake, why not meet some of the greater Minnesota requests in a bonding bill? As we have seen before, costs for projects only go up if delayed. Maybe some of the unmet needs in transportation can be relegated to a bigger bonding bill. And if greater Minnesota emphasis is the need, then don't talk, ACT.
6. Its worth noting that the cutback on cigarette taxes is nuts. But please keep the e-cigarette tax in place...and make it bigger.
7. Education funding needs to be increased. And the U of M low ball number doesn't punish the administration, it only hurts students. The numbers have to be reworked in this regard, and making tax cuts a priority in light of stalled education budgets is absolutely ludicrous.
8. And find money for broadband....or go into next election at your own peril. Hint. hint.
9. The punitive LGA cuts for Twin Cities and Duluth need to be gone.
There you are....a layman's suggestion.
Feel free to ignore and I'm sure you will. But for heaven's sake, get something done.