House and Senate Republicans released revised budget numbers Monday, which will frame the final week of budget negotiations with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.
With a week remaining in the legislative session, Republicans’ $33.8 billion, two-year budget remains roughly $2 billion shy of Dayton’s proposal.
Dayton and Republicans are taking starkly different paths to wrestle down a $5 billion projected deficit. The governor wants to raise taxes on high earners, but Republicans propose to do it solely through cuts.
Republicans want to cut $748 million more on health and human services spending and another $240 million more on higher education than the governor.
Dayton has called the GOP cuts “draconian,” but Republicans say it’s foolish to raise taxes in a lagging economy – and they won’t do it.
“We stand united against any tax increase proposals,” said Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo.
Democrats, who have sharply criticized Republicans for weeks for not releasing their financial targets, continued to chip away at Republicans for not accepting any new taxes.
“The GOP… is choosing to keep their feet in cement while laying waste to Minnesota seniors, small businesses, school children and homeowners with the cuts that they have in their budgets,” said House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis.
Both Dayton and the GOP would drain the state’s cashflow account to less than $105 million, which makes the state’s bank account – and its ability to pay bills -- vulnerable if the economy slides. In November, state budget officials estimated the cashflow account at about $274 million.
See the budget breakdown below: