As others see it: Dayton budget lays out starting pointThe budget unveiled by Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday probably did not catch anyone by surprise as he followed through on budget priorities highlighted during his campaign.
By: The Free Press of Mankato, Worthington Daily Globe
The budget unveiled by Gov. Mark Dayton Tuesday probably did not catch anyone by surprise as he followed through on budget priorities highlighted during his campaign.
He said he planned to tax wealthier Minnesotans who he feels had not been paying their fair share, on a percentage basis, as compared to the middle class. Whether you agree about the fairness of that proposition or not, officials of both parties agree on the tax incidence study that showed what Dayton argues is largely true. Dayton’s tax-the-rich proposal would cut the red ink in half from about $6.2 billion to about $3.4 billion. Some higher taxes would start at a two-earner household income of $150,000 a year, an income level many do not consider “rich.”
Dayton’s budget also calls for $775 million in cuts in health care costs, one of the costs rising most rapidly in the state. That is somewhat surprising for a Democrat, but is hard medicine needed in these tough times. Dayton’s plan would eliminate MinnesotaCare health care coverage for 7,200 adults. ...
In another tough choice that even Republicans seemed leery of making, Dayton’s plan cuts state reimbursements to nursing homes and community-based care by 2 percent and 4.5 percent respectively. Some of the health and welfare cuts also might be made up by the state’s early opt-in to Medicaid.
Dayton’s plan actually increases slightly spending on education and maintains current spending on property tax relief programs like local government aid and other relief programs to those cities not getting local government aid. Both may need to be cut given the economic circumstances.
Dayton also continues to use the budget shift of education funding, calling for paying it back starting at 10 percent a year in 2014. ...
Rest assured that neither party will offer up a plan that doesn’t seriously affect Minnesotans.