The 2013 legislative session adjourned late Monday night with just minutes to spare. After spending the past few months debating how much to spend, which taxes to raise and where to grow government, Gov. Mark Dayton and lawmakers finally reached a budget deal for the next biennium. This late-night conclusion, which resulted in $2 billion in total new taxes and nearly $3 billion in new spending, brought to an end a tumultuous session brought on by the dangers of one-party rule. It didn’t have to be this way.
Rather than include Republican lawmakers in a process to arrive at a budget with plenty of time left for vigorous debate, Democratic Gov. Dayton and his like-minded legislative majorities focused instead on quenching an insatiable thirst for billions in new taxes and spending and exercised no caution about when, where and by how much to extend government’s reach into the lives of all Minnesotans.
Since last Tuesday alone, legislators spent nearly the entire final week in disagreement over key budget bills and wasted critical days and hours jamming through the highly controversial unionization of child care providers and personal care attendants. With the budget left unbalanced and final agreement existing only in back-room conversations, our lawmakers prioritized this union power grab over the important work they were elected to do.
The result? A final budget agreement that will result in excessive government growth and spending, excessive taxation and excessive overreach during the next biennium-much to the detriment of Minnesota’s economic freedom. This budget increases public spending at an astonishing eight percent clip, a rate with which the revenue-generating economy simply cannot keep pace. This budget raises an alarming $2 billion in total new taxes, further limiting the freedom of all Minnesotans. This budget, and the session in which it was enacted, will lead to more big-government encroachment into the lives of Minnesota citizens, families and businesses.
Minnesotans deserve a more responsible approach than the agreement reached late Monday. Our economic freedom and future vitality depend on it.
AFP-Minnesota thanks you for the work you have done in bringing a voice to these important deliberations. With your effort in putting pressure on legislators, we achieved a $1 billion reduction in the actual tax hike compared to earlier proposals, a $700 million reduction in off-year borrowing and avoided a dramatic hike in the minimum wage, dozens of new and harmful taxes, and a host of other outlandish bills aimed at growing government and limiting your freedoms.
We hope you will join us in our continued efforts to educate Minnesota citizens about the importance of advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity.