Plenty of people, including some DFLers, are still shaking their head at the across-the-board cuts proposed by the Senate DFL caucus yesterday.
“The cuts fail to prioritize,” Gov. Tim Pawlenty said on his radio show today. “Some things are more important than others.”
Earlier this year, the architect of the DFL plan — Sen. Larry Pogemiller — agreed.
“If Minnesota wants to be on the cutting edge of educational achievement, investment in early childhood is essential. That’s a fact; the research is overwhelming,” Pogemiller told a summit on early childhood education “If we had $1 of new money, the best investment is education.” Isn’t that a priority? (Find the video on the Blandin Foundation Web site)
But just a few days later, Pogemiller said cuts to education would be required. “We are in a deteriorating situation,” Pogemiller said. It is not in the long term interest of the state to try to do this with bubble gum and act like we’re doing something,” Polinaut’s Tim Pugmire reported.
He didn’t change his story earlier this month when he told TPT’s Mary Lahammer that if education wasn’t cut, “we’d have to cut everything else by 22 percent.”
So Pogemiller’s hatchet on the budget shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise as it did. But it did.
DFLers proposing cuts to education — especially early childhood education — and Republicans proposing spending more on it is a paradigm shift that’s going to take Minnesotans more than one legislative session to grasp.
The budget sets up a potential showdown between House and Senate DFLers. House members spent several days last month holding town meetings across the state to hear citizens’ ideas on the state budget and the deficit and few recommended an across-the-board cut.
What do you think?