Starting later in October, Minnesota schools will start seeing some more of the money that state lawmakers in 2011 delayed to plug a multi-billion dollar budget deficit. Improved tax collections and less spending than anticipated allow for the state to pay $636 million to schools that were delayed to address a $5 billion budget deficit.
The Independence Party of Minnesota plans to take the state to court if the school-aid shift isn’t paid off by Dec. 1. IP Chairman Mark Jenkins has scheduled a state Capitol press conference on Thursday to announce his legal plans.
House Speaker Paul Thissen and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk gave what Bakk called the “35,000 foot view” of their priorities this session in a news conference Wednesday afternoon, with few specific details on how they will balance a projected $1.1 billion budget deficit or find the funds to invest in their priorities.
In his veto letter on Thursday, Dayton said while the bill as "superficial appeal," it would "try to solve an immediate financial problem by substituting a larger problem, which will not be visible until later."
After a contentious Senate Finance Committee hearing, the racino proposal is bound for the Senate floor. The proposal to allow slot machines at two horse racing tracks was added to a relatively minor education bill on a bipartisan 10-4 vote.
House Speaker Kurt Zellers and House Education Finance Committee chairman Pat Garofalo announced legislation that would shift $430 million of the surplus to repay K-12 schools at a Capitol news conference on Thursday.
by Paul Demko
Published: December 2, 2011
Tags: Amy Koch, deficit, Greg Davids, Jim Schowalter, k-12 school shift, Mark Dayton, Market value homestead credit, November forecast, revenue, surplus, Tom Stinson
Positive budget news has been in short supply at the Capitol in recent years. So it’s no surprise that Republicans and DFLers alike greeted with relief the surprise announcement that the state is projected to have an $876 million surplus in the current two-year budget cycle.