WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 09, 2010, 08:17 AM

Minnesota Democrats propose plan to narrow the budget gap

(WDAY TV) - After the Supreme Court voided Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's un-allotment of more than two billion dollars, the state faces a bigger problem. Pawlenty insists the 2.9 billion dollar budget gap be closed by cutting spending. Not raising taxes.

By: Victor Meza, WDAZ

A democratic bill introduced Saturday will likely be vetoed. Larry Jacobs from Humphrey Institute says a possible government shutdown is only part of the problem.

"This situation is far worse than anything we've seen in recent decades. It’s not just what will the government shut down, but how will we pay our bills?"

How to solve the ongoing budget crisis will be a big discussion at a meeting with lawmakers in St. Paul tomorrow. We are learning the proposed plan by democrats to narrow the budget gap includes tax hikes.

Sen. Leroy Stumpf/ MN Senator: "It will include cuts to a lot of programs and some of it will also include delays in payments to school districts."

Stumpf says last year the Governor signed all the spending bills with out signing the revenue bill that would have paid for all the government spending.

Sen. Leroy Stumpf/ MN Senator: "Ever since Governor Pawlenty took office, he has taken the ability to raise revenues in some areas when there need away from the legislature."

With this new proposed plan, Stumpf says that Minnesotans should expect an increase in taxes.

Sen. Leroy Stumpf/ MN Senator: "That’s what happens when the state doesn’t come through in the basic responsibilities that we should shoulder, then that requires local governments to raise revenues."

Stumpf says that there has been a lot of frustration between the senators about this problem and that the Legislature should start working together to solve this budget crisis.

Sen. Leroy Stumpf/ MN Senator: "The years that I have been there the government functions best when all the players or all the people involved talk to one another honestly discuss rather than point fingers back and forth."

Lawmakers want the deficit resolved by the end of the session which is next week.