Democrats keep spending

To the Editor:

With the 2014 legislative session now in lawmakers’ rearview mirror, the final week was spent hammering out a capital investment bill and finding more ways to spend more of your money.

Many were very concerned about the size and scope of this year’s bonding bill, but in the end House and Senate Republicans came to an agreement with the majority on a proposal that is now more politically and geographically balanced.

The highlight of the bonding proposal is a provision that funds the Lewis and Clark Rural Water Project. This proposal is critically needed as Rock and Nobles counties have not had a reliable water source in decades, and funding for this water pipeline will provide it.

While Lewis and Clark does not impact our district directly, it does make a significant impact on southwestern Minnesota’s economy and the future economic health of our region.

Meanwhile, despite indicators from the Revenue Department that current state spending is outpacing collected revenue, legislative Democrats continued their two-year spending spree. On the final day of session, they chose to spend another $283 million on state government programs, in addition to the $3 billion they added in state spending last year.

These are permanent spending increases that need to be accounted for down the road. We are clearly overspending into the future, and if revenue collections dry up, the next Legislature will have to determine how to curb this spending.

With a $1.2 billion surplus, we should have looked at ways where we could have set aside some of these funds or simply given them back to the taxpayers. Instead, Democrats chose to keep on spending and ignored how this decision could impact Minnesota’s future budgets.

State Rep. Bob Gunther,