State Budget Talks Break Down After Walz, Republicans Trade Offers

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(Learfield News Service/St. Paul, MN) State budget talks broke down last night (Mon) after Governor Tim Walz offered to throttle back his proposed gas tax increase to 16 cents a gallon and Republicans responded, the gas tax increase has to be zero.

Republicans suggested tapping the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve to pay for some of the funding increases the governor wants. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says, “We have the largest budget reserves that we’ve ever had, and so we feel like we could use some of that.”

Walz fired back Republicans’ “no new taxes” pledge means insufficient money for education and other programs, so they dive into the rainy day fund. “This used to be the party of fiscal responsibility,” said Walz. “This used to be the party that actually had some credibility to talk to us about how you did budgeting — and they did this!”

Republicans respond fiscal responsibility is the state living within its means.

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