Legislative update-March 20, 2017

House Republicans announce budget targets this morning

House Republicans announced their budget targets Monday, headlined by $1.35 billion in tax relief for Minnesota families, $450 million in new funding for road and bridge infrastructure, and an overall budget target that ensures a sustainable level of state spending for the next biennium.

“The highlight of our budget proposal is a tax target that delivers meaningful and long-overdue tax relief to Minnesota families who work so hard to generate our state’s significant budget surplus,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown.When asked, Speaker Daudt mentioned income tax rate cuts were unlikely but highlighted business, agriculture property taxes, and student loan credits as likely.

House Republicans stated their goal to approach budgeting “The Minnesota Way.” In addition to major tax relief and new road and bridge infrastructure spending, House Republicans are proposing $1.1 billion in new funding for K-12 schools compared to the 2016-2017 biennium. Leaders announced $138 million in new funding for higher education – compared to $100 million in new funding announced by the Senate on Friday.

In addition, the House Republican budget allows for $800 million in bonding each year for the next two years but leaders haven’t decided if they will push for a bill yet this year.

“Our budget puts Minnesota families first: it respects taxpayers and invests in key priorities like middle-class tax relief, improving our road and bridge infrastructure, and lowering health care costs,” added House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers. “‘The Minnesota Way’ means identifying and funding priorities—just as families do in their own budgets each and every day.”

The overall House Republican budget target limits government spending more than the two proposals put forward by the Governor and the Senate.

“Our proposal aims to slow the growth in state government spending,” added House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Jim Knoblach, R-St. Cloud. “Minnesota families expect that government will not continue to grow unchecked, our ‘Minnesota Way’ approach respects taxpayers and ensures a responsible level of state spending.”

The budget resolution, containing the targets, will be adopted this week by the House Ways and Means Committee and will serve as the framework for Finance Committees as they construct their budgets.

Read more…

Questions? Contact the Government Relations Team:

Jaime Simonsen
Bernie Omann
Jim Grathwol

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