From Tom Scheck:
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton held a forum in St. Cloud today to make the case to the public that his budget battle with GOP legislative leaders has a wide- ranging impact on the state. The focus of the forum, held at a high school in St. Cloud, was special education funding.
More than 100 people attended the event and cheered when speakers called for higher taxes to help erase the state’s $5 billion projected budget deficit. Dayton said his plan would help protect special education funding.
“This is a reminder at what’s at stake for children with special needs–129,000 school children around Minnesota who have a need for special education and would experience cuts under the Republican budget proposal. That’s why Commissioner Cassellius and I are here today,” he said. “It’s certainly affirming to hear from those who are making due with even less money already.”
Six St. Cloud-area Republican lawmakers said they do not support additional revenue to balance the budget.
Rep.King Banaian, R-St. Cloud, said he won’t support new taxes to plug the budget gap.
“I do not believe we need new revenues. We have the most revenues that we have ever had in a state budget from state sources,” he said. ” We do not need additional revenues in this budget.”
Dayton is holding forums around the state as the the state government shutdown continues. He’ll be in southeastern Minnesota Wednesday.