April 14 marked the 100th day of a busy 2011 Minnesota Legislative session. Through the first one hundred days, we have worked to balance the budget, reform government to fund priorities while reducing overall spending and protect Minnesotans from higher taxes. Together, these three areas help to create a friendly environment for job creators and put Minnesotans back to work.
In the first 100 days, we passed a complete and balanced budget. Our budget keeps spending within projected revenue increases, doesn’t raise taxes on anyone and cuts future spending by $3.6 billion. By comparison, the Governor proposes to borrow $1 billion, raise taxes $2.5 billion and increase state spending to $37 billion.
One goal of the House Republicans was to reform government to improve operations and fund priorities. Our first initiative, HF1, was permit reform. When so many Minnesotans are out of work, we can’t afford to lose another business due to our state’s slow, bureaucratic and uncertain permitting process.
Minnesota’s great track record of education has new momentum. In the first 100 days, we passed legislation that will improve education by putting students first. We’re working to direct money into the classroom and towards programs that help our schools and students achieve the best results.
The House Republicans have passed legislation that will reform how state government operates. This includes:
- A 15% reduction in the state workforce by 2015
- Zero based budgeting principles
- Sunset provision to audit all state agencies
- Tax analytics to target taxes and debt
- Government consolidation
- Welfare reform and fraud detection
During the worst economy in 60 years, Governor Dayton has proposed massive tax increases that will fall on all Minnesotans. The governor wants to raise taxes by $2.5 billion to fuel a 15% growth in government spending. However, by focusing on priorities, the House budget is able to increase funding for things like education and provide $300 million for middle class tax relief.
The choice at the Capitol this year is clear. Live within our means, create economic growth and reform government OR stay on the same path and go to the taxpayers for billions more in higher taxes and higher spending.