Where is the balance?

To the Editor:

On March 14, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton submitted an updated budget proposal that reflects the state’s improved budget deficit number – $627 million. With the economy improving, I expected the governor to stop the call for more revenue and to whittle the remaining deficit away by reforming government. Instead, he just called for fewer tax increases.

Where is the balance in this proposal? We need to come up with $627 million to balance the books, yet the governor wants to raise taxes by nearly three times that amount in order to unnecessarily increase government spending.

As part of Gov. Dayton’s plan to balance the budget, he recommends raising taxes by $1.8 billion and increasing spending by $1.2 billion. He also wants to pass a $700 million bonding bill this year.

It will be interesting to see who wins the bonding bill fight. Senate Majority Leader Bakk has already said we should finish the budget the first year of the biennium, then deal with a bonding bill during the second year, so we’ll have to see if Bakk or Dayton prevails.

State Rep. Bob Gunther