Northland Lawmakers Help Break Down Proposed Budget

By KBJR News 1

March 15, 2013 Updated Mar 15, 2013 at 9:40 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Northlander's got a better idea Friday on how Governor Mark Dayton's latest budget proposal will affect their pocketbooks.

The Governor rolled out his revised plan on Thursday vowing to cut the state's deficit of $627 million.

It features investments in education, local government aid and job creation.

To fund those, the Governor is proposing to raise $1.8 billion in revenue through a tax increase on the state's top earners, a tax increase on a smoker's and changes to the state's snowbird tax.

Senator Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth) along with Commissioner or Revenue, Myron Frans and State Representatives Eric Simonson (DFL-Duluth) and Mary Murphy (DFL-Hermantown) fielded questions from the people about the budget.

They broke down Dayton's new budget emphasizing the Governors goals of creating a better Minnesota.

They also talked about how Minnesota's economy is growing slowly but it has been a jobless recovery because businesses are investing money in equipment rather than hiring people.

"The primary focus of tonight is to talk about the budget and the governor's tax proposals, they started out pretty significant at the start of session and he substantially changed them yesterday, so we are very fortunate to have commissioner Myron Frans Commissioner of Revenue to talk about how those proposals have changed," said Sen. Reinert.

Republican leaders responded to the Governor's revised proposal Thursday saying they're pleased he reeled back on some tax increases, but say he still offers no spending reform.

"We're just willing to be here to help and offer solutions that we think do work which is the direction our budget took two years ago," said Sen. David Hann, Senate Minority Leader. "We said let's offer some restraint try to live within the means people of Minnesota have offered to the Government try to restrain spending growth within the Minnesota economy."

The GOP said they feel Minnesota is heading in the right direction, with unemployment down and a recovering economy.

However, they say tax increases will hurt a fragile economy.

The Governor said he's still waiting for Republicans to offer an alternative to his budget plan.

Kevin Jacobsen
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