The Legislature and the Governor passed a budget last night.
The K12 Budget Shift: The budget “borrows” money from the next year’s K12 budget. It’s just plain bad policy – but such was the price of “compromise”. Naturally, the GOP’s good faith is met by DFL perfidy; though they and the governor demanded, indeed whined about “compromise”, now that the deal is signed the DFL (and their de-facto management company, “Alliance For A Better Minnesota”) is trying to spin it, hoping people don’t notice the fact that the shift is smaller than the one in Governor Dayton’s original budget.
Having To Listen To Thissen And Bakk: Paul Thissen’s sound bite, from the floor overnight, claimed that the GOP was “leaving four billion dollars in debt for future generation”. Is there any way someone can glitter this hamster? Money that was requested as part of the bureaucracy’s forecast, that is not spent, is not a debt.
Wading Out Of The Swamp Of DFL Chanting Points; From Blois Olson’s Morning Take, the DFL has marshalled its chanting points:
- “This is the most reckless and irresponsible budget in state history. This is a beg, borrow and steal budget that just kicks the can down the road and leaves our children billions of dollars in debt” Sounds like Algore is writing for them today. This is what you get for “compromising” with the DFL. All the more reason to get out and win this next election in a big way. I’m feeling better about that today.
- “Rather than asking millionaires to pay their fair share of taxes, Republicans are instead choosing to borrow billions of dollars from our schools while leaving our children and grandchildren billions of dollars in debt”. For a few months. And hey, I’m fine with never doing that again. Since it was a key part of Dayton’s budget, that’s another “compromise” that needs to be reached.
- “Republicans can no longer claim to be the party of fiscal responsibility” The DFL is trying to make people think “raising taxes in the middle of the recession so that the machinery of government can stay fat and happy” is “responsble”. It’s a crime against the language.
- “This budget spends billions of dollars we don’t have, and simply puts the state’s bills on a credit card”. Yep. One that has to be paid off early next year. Not a great idea, but survivable.
- “I’m disappointed that Republican’s refusal to compromise resulted in such a fiscally irresponsible budget solution, but I respect Gov. Dayton for doing everything in his power to end this shutdown and get Minnesotans back to work” Five will get you ten Dayton’s a one-term governor.
- ‘Unfortunately, we will be paying for the Republicans’ beg, borrow, and steal budget for decades to come.” But I’m guessing we’ll be as short as specifics on that as we were on specifics for Dayton’s “budgets”.
Reforms: King Banaian’s Sunset Commission made it into the final cut. The commission – which will shut down government agencies that have outlived their usefulness (or, initially, never had any) is now law.
News on other reforms later today and/or tomorrow.
The Tax Conveyor Belt Is Closed: The DFL banked on being able to browbeat the GOP into keeping “Business as Usual”. The idea that government must be kept fat and happy at all costs, no matter how the rest of us are doing, was finally blunted. Not defeated – it would have been better to have gotten a $32 billion budget with no shifting and no borrowing from the Tobacco blackmail fund – but blunted. The bureaucracy had best learn that the DFL’s browbeating is obsolete.
The HHS Budget Elevator Is Closed: Health and Human Services spending has had one of the most corrosive features in state politics; an automatic increase in funding. If anyone suggested reducing the increase, the DFL immediately trotted out single mothers and homeless people to attack the “decrease”, which was in fact merely a smaller increase than the automatic increase formula. That automatic increase has been repealed.
Outstate Gets It: The metro base that put Dayton in office is in full dudgeon – what else? But Governor Dayton’s abrupt switch on the budget last week shows, I think, that outstate, even key DFL constituencies were un-thrilled with the DFL’s case. While some DFLers are saying this shutdown will lead to a return of the Legislature to DFL control, I’m thinking it’ll be neutral at worst and – given that redistricting will favor the GOP as well – maybe a slight gain. To sum it up – it was the people who voted for Dayton who for the most part even noticed the shutdown. At worst, they will vote even more vigorously DFL in the next elections.