Letter: Magnus opposed partial budget proposalOn Monday, the Minnesota Legislature approved a proposal that begins to address Minnesota’s projected $993 million budget deficit.
By: Dist. 22A Rep. Doug Magnus, R-Slayton, Worthington Daily Globe
On Monday, the Minnesota Legislature approved a proposal that begins to address Minnesota’s projected $993 million budget deficit. The bill cuts $312 million from areas of state government such as transportation, agriculture, higher education, state government and the environment. I opposed the measure.
I don’t oppose cutting the budget, but I oppose these cuts. Some of the reductions are ridiculous, and once again highlights the misplaced priorities that are continually brought forward by the House majority.
There are some good provisions in the bill, mainly pertaining to veterans’ benefits. For instance, the bill allocates $110,000 for a grant to the Military Assistance Council for Veterans programs which assists homeless veterans and their families.
But other aspects of the bill are troublesome. Specifically, there’s a $3 million reduction in the Petroleum Cleanup Fund, which will inevitably lead to a two-cent per gallon increase in the gas tax.
There’s a $150,000 cut in the Residential Propane Program, which is used for weatherization of homes for low income residents. Meanwhile, the bill increases state funding for a breeding bird atlas and an online canoe trip.
We’re still waiting to hear how the majority is going to handle health and human services and K-12 education funding. Those two programs make up almost 75 percent of the state’s budget, and we haven’t touched them yet. With nearly $700 million left to cut, I fear the Democrats are going to target our classrooms and nursing homes to balance the budget.