With Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal to place a fourth-tier income tax on the state’s wealthiest earners running into a Republican wall of opposition, any compromise that moves Dayton’s way on revenue is likely to find legislators sifting through lower-profile options such as shifts, fees, tax loopholes and surcharges to close the gap.
In the closing days of the 2011 legislative session, Republican legislative leaders repeatedly stated that they were optimistic about reaching a solution to the state’s $5 billion budget deficit. “We can get this done,” said Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch with a week left in the session.
by Briana Bierschbach
Published: May 18, 2011
Tags: Amy Koch, Dan Dorman, Debra Kiel, Doug Magnus, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Greg Davids, Jeremy Miller, John Carlson, Linda Runbeck, Morrie Lanning, Rich Murray, Rod Hamilton, Tim Flaherty
With just days left before the adjournment of the 2011 regular session, eight Chamber of Commerce leaders from greater Minnesota came to the Capitol Monday to blast the Republican Legislature’s budget proposals.
Six years ago GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty and the Legislature deadlocked over a $466 million budget deficit. The DFL-controlled Senate wanted to raise nearly $1 billion by increasing income taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents. Pawlenty dismissed the move as “profoundly stupid.”
On Tuesday afternoon the Minnesota Vikings staged a triumphal press conference to announce that the football team has reached a deal with Ramsey County to build a new $1 billion stadium on the site of a former munitions plant in Arden Hills.
by Briana Bierschbach
Published: May 11, 2011
Tags: Amy Koch, Bob Vanasek, Denny McNamara, Frank Hornstein, Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Kurt Zeller, Kurt Zellers, Mark Buesgens, Mark Dayton, Marty Seifert, Mary Liz Holberg, Michele Bachmann, Neil Peterson, Pat Garofalo, Rich Neumeister, Tim Worke, Tom Emmer, tom Hackbarth
Just weeks after the party swept both chambers in last fall's historic election, then-House Speaker-elect Kurt Zellers and soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch took the podium at a press conference to announce the first-ever full slate of Republican committee chairs. Only one legislator - Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, the incoming chairwoman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee - joined the two leaders in front of the press to speak.
A year ago, the Legislative Audit Commission passed over a proposal to evaluate the way state agencies prepare the fiscal notes that have long served as the basis for doing state budgets. One year later, amid a session punctuated by public disputes about their accuracy, the commission made an investigation of fiscal notes one of the highest priorities for Legislative Auditor James Nobles and his staff.
With the once-frenzied budget process mired in conference committee doldrums, Republican-sponsored constitutional amendments that would clamp down on taxes and spending are filling the fiscal policy void.
Part of Republican Rep. Linda Runbeck's pitch to voters on the campaign trail last fall concerned the urgent need she saw for business tax relief across the state. Now the House Property Taxes chairwoman from Circle Pines is back at the Legislature after more than a decade away, and she is aiming to get rid of programs that cropped up in her absence that, in her view, conflict with that promise.
Mark Dayton entered the Capitol in January owing its inhabitants very little. The DFL governor spent $3.9 million of his own fortune to win the primary and the narrow election in November, and for the most part conducted his campaign with little help from special interest groups or Democratic legislators.