Budget deal leaves some issues out
The state’s down to the wire budget deal was announced Sunday. Gov. Tim Walz, the House DFL leaders and the Senate Republican leaders came up with a plan where everybody wins some and loses some.
That’s how compromises work. Walz gave up his 20 cent per gallon gasoline tax. Republicans gave up on sunsetting the state’s 2 percent health care tax, though it is being reduced to 1.8 percent. There’s more money promised for education and the state’s tax law will now conform with the federal law.
Unfortunately, without a gas tax increase of some kind, money for the Highway 14 expansion project between New Ulm and Nicollet will be hard to come by. We hope some of the bonding package that is being proposed will be dedicated toward that much-needed project.
The budget deal was reached far too late to allow a budget bill to be written, debated and approved. There will have to be a special session for that, but this one will be easier than some past ones, where the disagreements continued beyond the end of the session. In those cases, weeks would go by before anyone sat down to talk, and only the threat of a government shutdown would bring about a decision.
This year the major issues have been worked out, and it will come down to working out the details. There will probably need to be concessions to the House Republicans, who had no input to the budget deal. House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt indicated his caucus may not provide the votes needed to suspend rules for a one-day special session, or to support a general fund bonding bill, which requires a supermajority.
We’re sure there are a lot of issues that have been left by the wayside in this agreement, but the sign of a good compromise is that nobody is totally happy with the outcome.