Minnesota Government Shutdown Over, But at What Cost?


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From Duluth to Edgerton the wheels of Minnesota government will start turning soon.  Wednesday morning Governor Mark Dayton signed into law legislation that will end the nation’s longest state shutdown in a decade. The compromise legislation was passed during a marathon legislative session that started Tuesday and ended early Wednesday morning. 

Governor Dayton and the legislature finally came together in a compromise that balances the budget by delaying payments to schools and issuing bonds against future tobacco settlement monies. Despite wide voter approval, the progressive tax policy proposals that the Governor pushed during his campaign and during the budget fight never came to fruition.

The Minnesota Budget Project (MBP) reminds us that the compromise reached comes at a huge cost. For example, in the budget agreement higher education was cut by $351 million.  The compromise budget also includes a $54 million cut to transportation. Obviously, it’s a good thing that Minnesota will be up and functioning shortly, but in terms of spending and taxes, the budget is a real disappointment after Governor Dayton’s promising start.  MBP puts it best, “the compromise agreement means Minnesota will fail to maintain the investments we need to create the workforce of the future.”

Photo via Governor Dayton Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0

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