Representative Kurt Daudt
State Representative, District 17A
With only days left before a potential statewide government shutdown, it’s important to remember that the House and Senate have offered Governor Dayton several budget compromises to avoid closing down the state.
While I remain committed to not raising taxes to solve the deficit, we have come to the table with Governor Dayton multiple times in an effort to reach a resolution.
With the largest budget in state history with a six percent increase from last year, Republicans funded veteran’s programs services for the elderly and increased education spending. The most critical component of our budget proposal is the focus on innovation as a practical solution for building a strong future for Minnesota.
We have embraced technology to help streamline the delivery of state services. In our compromises to Governor Dayton we have matched 100 percent of his requests in the areas of K12 education, courts and public safety. While he rejected this offer without offering his own alternative, we again came back to him with increases in spending in the areas of higher education, transportation and environment. In the spirit of compromise, we made an additional offer of dropping our tax cuts and tax relief in an exchange for the governor dropping his tax increases.
As we move forward it is important to know that we have matched the governor’s funding requests without raising taxes. Minnesota is capable of producing a balanced budget that funds our priorities without increasing taxes. Governor Dayton would have you believe that producing a balanced budget that increases state spending, embraces innovation and strives to build a bright future for our kids is not possible without raising taxes. It is not only possible and it necessary for a successful Minnesota.
In challenging economic times, our budget’s growth of six percent over the next biennium is a reasonable and responsible plan for Minnesota. Just like Minnesota families, in tough economic times, government must live within its means. In order to get this state’s economy growing again and put the 200,000 unemployed Minnesotans back to work, we must cultivate a business climate that fosters the growth and expansion of high-quality, sustainable jobs. Governor Dayton is choosing to ignore the tough economic climate we face as he looks to grow government at unsustainable rates.
Although Governor Dayton has yet to produce his own, fully balanced budget, I look forward to the opportunity to work together to solve the deficit. It is my firm belief that a government shutdown is unnecessary but Governor Dayton seems intent on doing just that. Minnesota is depending on elected officials to get our job done and I am ready to put Minnesota families and job-creators first.