By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 5/9/2019
Hello from the State Capitol,
Just wanted to provide you with a quick update on where things stand with budget negotiations.
The short answer is there’s been very little movement.
May 6 was the date the House, Senate, and Governor were to agree on budget targets. That deadline was missed, and we’re still no closer to having budget targets as of this writing than we were a week ago.
The reason for the lack of progress is simple – a debate over whether or not we should approve $12 billion worth of tax increases.
Governor Walz and House leadership are supporting the $12 billion in tax increases – which includes the 20-cent per gallon gas tax and raising taxes on your health care. To date, they have not eliminated one dollar of that amount during budget discussions. The Senate has stated that with a $1 billion surplus it wants no tax increases of any kind this budget cycle, so they obviously have refused to accept any tax increase ideas.
In other words, neither side is blinking. Yet.
The reality is progress needs to be made soon, as session will end in 11 days. I will keep you updated on any news made here at the Capitol.
This week is Teacher Appreciation Week. I’d like to recognize all the teachers throughout the area for their work with our youth and their commitment to education. Thanks for all you do.
May is also Mental Health Awareness month. Its purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses, and strive to reduce the misconceptions that surrounds mental illnesses. My thanks to all who are doing their part to raise awareness.
Have a good weekend,
Representative Tony Jurgens
351 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155