Posted: 08/13/12 22:48, Edited: 08/13/12 22:49
by Dave Mindeman
Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers thinks that the contract that Governor Dayton negotiated with state employees "overstepped the bounds".
Overstepped the bounds. Hmmmmmm....
The real cost factor come from MMB:
An official with Minnesota Management and Budget says Zellers is incorrect when it comes to the cost of the contracts. He said the expected increases were already factored into the current state budget. He said agencies would have to cover any added costs within their existing budgets. MMB says it will cost the state $13 million more if the new contracts are approved.
Now I am sure that Kurt Zellers will have a higher figure because House Republicans have their own type of math not taught in any known form of education; but no matter....Zellers has to make his cost comparisons against his responsibility for these items.....
1) State Shutdown. The shutdown of State Government was the Republican legislature's fault. Granted, the costs that resulted were much lower than expected, but I think it is safe to assume that when all the construction lawsuits are finished, it will be north of that $13 million figure.
2) Voter ID. Republicans put this crazy amendment on the ballot to fix a phantom problem and when all is said and done, the Minnesota taxpayers will pay more. Ramsey County estimates were put at $1.7 million per cycle. Hard to calculate those costs statewide...but I think we can safely put it past $13 million.
3) Vikings Stadium. Zellers will try to pass this off on the Democrats (who did bring most of the votes), but Zellers is equally culpable because he allowed it to come to the floor. It is becoming more evident that the gambling revenue source is not going to be adequate for payment and we may end up directly paying taxpayer general fund money to make up the difference. And if that happens it will surpass the $13 million figure.
4) Interest on School District Borrowing. Zellers and his legislative cohorts shifted the school payments and the delay has caused school districts to borrow money to keep budgets current. Which also means they pay interest on that borrowing. Judging by the multi-million dollar numbers required, I think we can safely assume that again, we will be north of $13 million.
And I have to mention.... although it has not gotten close to $13 million (yet), the Senate has also tacked on a bill to the taxpayer for the Brodkorb lawsuit.
So you can understand my skepticism about Zellers crying foul over a contract with state employees that give them a mere 2% raise with increased out of pocket health care expenses.
Come to think of it....it's laughable.