From MPR’s Madeleine Baran:
Former Gov. Arne Carlson, a moderate Republican, is blasting Dayton’s proposal to accept a GOP offer to shift more school payments and borrow against the state’s future tobacco payments.
“I’m dumbfounded,” Carlson told MPR’s Kerri Miller.
“For eight years we have been taking from the future to pay for today under the guise that we shouldn’t increase taxes. … The idea that we can go for an other two years by borrowing from tomorrow I think is the worst possible course this state can take,” he said.
Carlson said the plan not only delays the problem, but also makes it worse. The deficit will go up and rating agencies will downgrade the state’s credit while the political debate continues, he said.
“We have borrowed too much,” he said.
Carlson said the tobacco settlement money from 2003 is supposed to go toward medical research and health care for the poor.
Carlson rejected the idea that Dayton must do something to end the shutdown, which has resulted in some 22,000 state workers being laid off.
“I believe that one of the signs of good leadership is good financial planning and I think this represents some of the very worst,” he said, adding that the state will find itself in a worse financial situation two years from now.
“It’s hard to look at this package and say this represents the best interests of constituents. It does not,” he said.