Today, Governor Mark Dayton released the following statement in response to the "Framework for a Budget Solution' put forward by the bi-partisan committee, organized by Vice President Walter Mondale and Governor Arne Carlson:
"I thank Vice President Mondale and Governor Carlson for their important initiative to help resolve the state's current budget impasse. I also thank former legislative leaders Steve Dille and Wayne Simoneau and the other very distinguished members of their committee who worked so hard, so swiftly, and so well to develop their recommendations.
"I note that most of the Committee's recommendations parallel my own proposals. They recommend $2.2 billion in permanent spending cuts; I have detailed almost $2.1 billion in spending reductions. They recommend $700 million in increased revenues from increased alcohol and tobacco taxes and a human service surcharge; yesterday I proposed raising $700 million from a tobacco tax increase, other tax reforms, and health care surcharges.
"I respectfully differ with the Committee on their recommendation of a 4% temporary income tax surcharge on all Minnesota taxpayers. My goal has consistently been to protect most Minnesotans from either an income tax increase or a property tax increase, by raising state income taxes on only the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans. Most other Minnesotans are already over-taxed, due primarily to the 75% increase in property taxes statewide during the previous eight years.
"Unfortunately, Republican Legislators remain adamantly opposed to making our state tax system fairer. That is why I reluctantly proposed an additional $700 million in delayed school aid payments, which further reduces state spending by that amount in the biennium.
"The Republicans in the State Legislature have received three compromise proposals in the past 24 hours: two from me and one from this very distinguished Committee. Now it is their responsibility either to accept one of them, or else to present their own alternative proposal. It will take both them and me to resolve this budget impasse. I have offered yet another compromise; now it is their turn to offer their compromise."