Senate DFLers will hold a news conference later today to discuss “honest budget principles to balance the budget.” The plan that Senate Democrats are considering would cut $2.1 billion in programs with nearly half coming from E-12 education. The plan would also include $1.1 billion in K-12shifts and calls for $2 billion in unspecified “new revenue.” What is uncertain is how much of the money will be spared from the expected federal stimulus money. For example, DFL Sen. Leroy Stumpf of Plummer said he expects the $952 million in E-12 cuts to be offset with as much as $650 million in federal stimulus money.
Here are the targets created by Matt Massman with Senate Fiscal Staff…
K12 shift – $1.1 billion
New Resources – $2 billion
E-12 Education $952 million
Higher Education – $193 million
Health and Human Services – $627
Ag/Veterans – $26 million
Environment, Energy anmd Natural Resources – $21 million
Economic Development and Housing – $20 million
Public Safety – $36
Judiciary – – $24 million
Transportation – 12 million
State Government – $35 million
Tax Aids and Credits – $210 million
Increase in the budget reserve – $500 million
While this isn’t the final Senate offer, it is the opening salvo in what could be a long budget discussion. In past years, Senate Democrats have used a strategy of promising deep cuts in education with the hopes of garnering support for a tax increase.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem said the plan is misguided and is concerned about the use of “new revenue.” GOP House Minority Leader Marty Seifert said it’s “the worst of both worlds. A massive tax increase and a massive cut in education.”
Gov. Pawlenty’s initial budget proposal uses one-time money, shifts and cuts to balance the budget. He’ll release a supplemental budget soon. House DFLers have yet to propose a budget.