Republican leaders at the Legislature say they are willing to match Gov. Mark Dayton‘s numbers for the K-12 education, public safety and judiciary budget bills.
The move after budget talks Monday evening is the GOP’s first new offer since passing the now-vetoed $34 billion spending plan near the end of the regular session in May, and moves the governor’s way in spending about $80 million more on education and $30 million more on the courts and public safety. But GOP leaders emphasized that the offer does not include any net increase in state spending.
“Governor, we’re coming all the way to you — 100 percent,” Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said of the funding, adding that there are still “points of discussion” in integration aid and special ed funding in the education budget.
“This is a substantial offer on our part to accept the governor’s funding requests for half of the entire state budget. We’re together on overall spending for kids, cops and courts, and we’re doing it within the framework of what we have in the checkbook. It doesn’t spend beyond what we can already afford,” House Speaker Kurt Zellers said in a news release. “Education is a priority for all of us, he wants funding and we want reform. This offer does both – it funds at his level and includes our reforms.”
Despite the movement, Dayton has rejected any negotiations on certain budget sectors absent an agreement on a total spending figure, and turned down Republican’s request that he call a special session this week to consider their new, partial offer. Officials will meet on transportation funding today.
– Maggi McDermott contributed to this report
“We’re coming all the way to you — 100 percent” except for the actual revenue part of the “funding.”
This is all so contrite. (Education) is agreed on 100 percent…but there are issues with special education. Say it like it is then… it’s not 100 percent. Spec Ed is most school district’s greatest burden for the fewest students. The Legislature cannot continue to turn its head on the fact that spec ed numbers are growing exponentially – by the number of students requiring services, the support staff, curriculum, equipment, etc.
In order to BALANCE a budget, you need to bring in enough or more revenue to pay the bills. For example, Racino funds would be far more useful for special education than a Vikings stadium.
Bringing in no new revenue, yet cutting funding on the single most growing area of education would be irresponsible.
Give it a little more thought than your canned, shallow rhetoric.
The primary problem IS spending. You can fund education at 110% and you will see little difference in the quality of education. Just look at all the programs and agencies that this state is funding – tell me we cannot find one duplicate or unnecessary function. People we need to wake up and start getting our spending in order. Raising taxes just gives more money to blow with out fixing the problems. We our watching our household budget and making cutbacks so I expect our government to do the same. There is no free money here – its coming from you and me and I expect our reps to spend the money wisely.