Given the recent and unprecedented government shutdown, you’d like to think that lawmakers in Minnesota would want to make it easier, not harder, for the state to balance its budget. But some lawmakers haven’t learned their lesson and are, in fact, proposing to use the state constitution to ban any tax increase that does not receive a supermajority of votes in both chambers.
Folks at the Minnesota Budget Project (MBP) argue, “The amendment would guarantee gridlock by creating extra hurdles for passing a responsible budget, leading to more budget gimmicks as policymakers seek to fund critical state services.” MBP also points out that surveys show that a majority of Minnesota residents want lawmakers to use both spending cuts and revenue increases to deal with deficits.
In these difficult economic times, lawmakers need more, rather than fewer, tools and options to address budget shortfalls and rising needs. In a state that just survived a horrific budget battle, it should be clear that the more options on the table, the better — for all Minnesotans.