With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

House and Senate pass controversial bill to pay back part of school debt

Posted by: Jim Ragsdale under Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: April 2, 2012 - 2:42 PM

The Minnesota House and Senate Monday passed the Republican plan to use budget reserves to pay back a portion of the state's debt to schools.

The vote was 75-56 in the House and 35-28 in the Senate on the final version of the plan, which takes more than $430 million from the budget reserve and uses the money to make a down payment on the state's debt to school districts.

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has criticized the plan, saying it is fiscally irresponsible.

Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, chairman of the House Education Finance Committee, said, "When you have cash on hand, the first thing you do is, you pay your debts." He called opponents of the plan "deadbeat Democrats."

DFL legislators said it was irresponsible to draw down the reserves at a time when the state faces deficits in the next budget cycle. They offered an alternative plan to close corporate tax loopholes and provide a new stream of revenue to pay back the schools. Republicans rejected that plan.

“Let's not fall into the same trap," said House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis. "Let’s not take shortcuts to cover the tracks of our bad decisions.”
To balance state budget, the state has shifted and delayed payments to schools, and now owes $2.4 billion to schools.
Even if Dayton blocks the bill with a veto, this issue will likely reappear during Legislative elections in the fall.
 

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT