November 22, 2014

Dayton Signs Bill Ending MN Gov't Shutdown

By KBJR News 1

July 20, 2011 Updated Jul 20, 2011 at 9:42 AM CST

St. Paul, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) The state shutdown is finally over as Minnesota lawmakers reach a budget compromise.

It happened early this morning during a special session that started Tuesday.

The $34 billion budget compromise cuts spending and implements long-term structural reform without raising taxes.

Some of the reforms include the phase out of the 2% health care provider tax, property tax relief, estate tax reform, education reform and efficiencies in state government operations.

At 9a.m. Governor Dayton signed the nine budget bills and one bonding bill into law.

The Minnesota governor said it wasn't the budget that he wanted, but that he saw a resolution was necessary in order to get Minnesotans back to work.

He credited himself as being the one to step forward and offer an agreement.

Dayton said, "It gets Minnesota back to work, and given the impasse that last week showed no signs of ending it was imperative that somebody step forward and make an offer that would break the ice and get Minnesota back to work and I did so."

The governor also said that once he offered to accept an amended version of the GOP budget both parties were able to sit down and work well together.

""We worked very well together during that time, once we all agreed we had to get this done, we were going to have to make difficult decisions to give up things that we really wanted and believed in. They were very tough negotiations, but they were always respectful negotiations and they were ultimately successful negotiations."

Highlights of the Fiscal Year 2012-2013 General Fund Budget:

Health Care: $11.3 billion
•Phase out with complete repeal of the 2.0% MinnesotaCare Provider Tax in 2018.
•Defined contribution program to provide a subsidy for adults without children at above 200% federal poverty guidelines in MinnesotaCare to purchase private health care coverage.
•Welfare reform that strengthens eligibility requirements and enhanced restrictions to prevent fraudulent use of electronic benefit transfer cards.
•Reduce the cost curve in health and human services spending from a projected increase of 22% in the next biennium to 4.8%.

Education: $13.6 billion
•$50 added to the per pupil funding formula in each year of the biennium
•Special education funding at current level, an 9% increase over the biennium
•Teacher and principal evaluation
•Repeal of the January 15 negotiation deadline and penalty
•Prohibiting the state from tapping into school district reserves for cash flow.

Taxes: $2.9 billion
•No income tax increases.
•Provided tax incentives for job creation focused on development of data centers.
•Increase of $30 million for Property Tax Refund.
•Local government aid at FY10 levels for all cities with permanent statutory reductions.
•Restored estate tax to allow small businesses and farms to stay in the family.
•Market Value Homestead Credit converted to Market Value Homestead Exclusion.

State Government Finance: $818.9 million
•Increased spending for Veterans Affairs and Military Affairs by 2.7% and 6% respectively.
•Reduced funding for constitutional offices, the legislature, and state agencies by 5%.
•Consolidated Office of Enterprise Technology services throughout government
•Required E-Verify status check to be used by all businesses that contract with the state
•Established a Sunset Advisory Commission to review state agencies, improve operations, and consolidate programs
•Linked state employee pay to performance, with salary increases subject to sufficient ratings
•Issued up to $10 million in appropriated bonds through MN Management & Budget in a “pay for performance” pilot project with cost efficient non-profits
•Audits to verify dependent eligibility in the state employee health insurance program.
•Strategic sourcing to ensure efficiencies in government purchasing.
•Tax analytic and business intelligence to better collect state taxes and debts.

Higher Education: $2.565 billion
•$1.09 billion for the University of Minnesota and $1.09 billion for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU).
•Increase in funding for the state grant program and work study.
•Tuition cap of 4% at MnSCU two-year institutions in 2013.

Jobs and Economic Development: $170.3 million
•Increased funding used to off set previous reductions to employment and housing programs for the extremely poor, mentally ill and disabled.
•Key investments in economic development funds that help Minnesota compete with other states when attracting new businesses.
•Workforce Development Competitive Grant Program to achieve accountability and outcomes for state dollars invested in grant programs for business development and adult services.

Judiciary/Public Safety: $1.807 billion
•Minimized reductions to core constitutional services like courts, cops and corrections.
•Require prison inmate co-pay for inmate-initiated health care visits.
•Saves counties money by allowing them to reimburse costs of medical services to local prisoners at the Medical Assistance rate, rather than the negotiated provider rates.
•Provide Safe Harbors to juveniles sold into prostitution and sex trafficking by treating them as victims, not criminals.

Transportation: $125.7 million
•Funding focuses on preserving current transportation and transit systems.
•Improves transit financing and transparency by requiring transit corridor planners to provide the total cost of proposed transit system, including capital and long-term operating expenses.

Environment, Energy and Natural Resources: $252.704 million
•Game and Fish bill provisions
•NPDES permits required only as directed by federal law
•Funded priorities including emerging issues such as aquatic invasive species and chronic waste disease.

Agriculture: $76.601 million
•Prioritizes funding to maintain the integrity and safety of the food supply in Minnesota.
•No reduction in funding for retail food handling and meatpacking inspections.

Bonding: $497 million
•Projects targeted at roads and bridges, infrastructure and flood relief.


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