Governor Mark Dayton, Speaker Paul Thissen, and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk today announced agreement on spending and revenue targets for the FY 2014/15 state budget. These targets provide the framework for a fair and responsible budget that invests in the middle class.
The agreement reached by Governor Dayton and DFL leaders:
-Closes the state's $627 million budget deficit in FY 14-15 without budget gimmicks and achieves long-term structural balance in FY 16-17.
-Repays all of the money borrowed from Minnesota's schools in the next two years.
-Makes an historic $725 million investment in education ($475 million in E-12 education and $250 million in higher education).
-Provides $400 million in property tax relief.
-Pays for those investments by asking the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans to pay their fair share in taxes, closing corporate tax loopholes, and reforming our tax system to make it fairer for middle-income Minnesotans.
Governor Dayton, Speaker Thissen and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk released the following statement:
"When the legislative session began, we shared the goal of progress for Minnesotans on education, job creation, and better government. This budget delivers on our promise of progress.
"We agreed that we needed to put middle class Minnesotans first. We agreed on the need to invest in education, from early learning through higher education. We agreed it was time to put fairness back in the tax system, close the deficit, and balance the budget for the long term without games or gimmicks. Today, we are pleased to announce a budget framework agreement that accomplishes these priorities and moves Minnesota forward.
"Our plan eliminates the projected $627 million deficit and balances the state budget for the next two bienniums with no gimmicks or shifts. We pay back, in the next biennium, all of the money still owed to our schools. We make historic new investments in education, including early childhood scholarships and funding to provide all-day kindergarten for all of Minnesota's children. We make major new investments in new job-creating incentives for businesses to locate or expand in our state. And we spend $400 million to provide very significant property tax relief for Minnesotans, while asking the very wealthiest Minnesotans to pay their fair share in income taxes."