The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State budget: a closer look

July 2, 2011

State shutdown: Q&A with local legislators


Brynaert: “I can certainly support a sales tax. I have not supported a gambling expansion to this point. ... A racino, I’m open to that discussion. I wouldn’t absolutely deny a revenue solution that had a racino as part of that. ... I’ve voted for (tobacco and alcohol tax increases) before. That’s not my preferred solution.”

Gruenhagen: “I’d have to see the specifics. I’m not going to make a statement based on generalities.”

Could you support new revenue that comes from delaying an even higher percentage of K-12 school payments? Could you support new revenue that comes from borrowing money that would be repaid with future tobacco settlement payments?

Rosen: “ Yes I am.

Actually the governor was on board for (the K-12 shift). His proposal was 50 percent the first year and 50 the next, but we came back with a 60-40 split.”

Sheran: “ We have to, in the budget settlement, accept some short-term revenue solutions. I would hope we won’t use (tobacco) bonding to pay for ongoing expenses. As a policy, to me that’s the worst possible solution.”

DeKruif: “ The problem I have with that particular bill, is it talks about money but not the policy. We can juggle numbers around.

Policy changes direction. I want to know what the whole agreement is first.”

Parry: “If we were to do the tobacco settlement, I’d have a hard time accepting that unless there was good reform going forward. As for the schools, we’ve shifted too much. It’s time to stop that nonsense.”

Morrow: “I’d be willing to look at an overall package that moves that number (on the K-12 shift) if the other parts of the solution were fair. On the tobacco bonds, I absolutely oppose them because there are a variety of legal, economic and constitutional issues with that.”

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State budget: a closer look