A new television ad from Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer stresses his view that government needs to "live with its means" and claims he has "the only honest" budget plan.
But the ad also claims that his plan to balance the Minnesota budget "funds our schools" but doesn't include the details that opponents say shortchanges schools.
His budget would offer K-12 schools $13.8 billion in the next two years, about $500 million more than is currently being spent by the state, but importantly, about $500 million less than schools are projected to need in the next two years.
Schools are expected to need more money to pay for inflationary increases in special education funding, an increase in student population, an increase in the number of poor children and expected increased payments for a merit-based pay system for teachers, according the Minnesota Education Department.
The $500 million increase Emmer plans to spend actually keeps schools getting what they are currently getting. That’s because current school spending actually includes about $500 million in federal funding. That means schools are now getting the $13.8 billion – exactly what Emmer wants to give them in 2012-2013.
His plan would also cut higher education spending compared to what is current being spent. That's a true decrease. Currently state colleges and universities are getting $2.8 billion from the state and are projected to need $2.9 billion in the next two years. He would spend $2.5 billion in higher education spending in the next two years.
Stylistically, the ad maintains the theme set in earlier ads that includes Emmer talking directly to the camera.
Here's the ad:
Here's the transcript:
TOM EMMER: We don’t need more taxes, we need more jobs. I’m Tom Emmer. My plan to balance the budget funds our schools, but requires the rest of government to live within its means. I’ll end the automatic spending increases. Is your income going up 17%? Then government spending shouldn’t either. I’ve proposed the only honest plan to balance the budget, and unlike my opponents, I won’t raise taxes because it hurts families and it costs jobs.
VOICE OVER: Tom Emmer. The jobs governor we need.