Some progress as policymakers seek global agreement on budget

The Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy had another meeting on Saturday afternoon, and legislators engaged in a fairly cordial discussion.

What came out of it on targets:

  • The Agriculture & Veterans Affairs conference committee agreed to a target of cutting $11.8 million for FY 2010-11.
  • The State Government conference committee is aiming for a $42.8 million cut for FY 2010-11. They hope to close their bill by Monday night. (Commissioner Hanson said that would be a tough target for the Governor to accept because it includes large cuts to the administration.)
  • The Transportation conference committee is aiming for a $14.8 million cut for FY 2010-11, there may be some movement on that target.

What we learned about working towards a global agreement:

  • The House and Senate appear to have taken two options off the table: the Governor’s proposal to bond to help reduce the deficit and the Governor’s proposal to merge the Health Care Access Fund (HCAF) into the general fund.
  • Representative Kohls appears to be leading the charge among House Republicans to come up with an alternative budget-balancing solution that meets the following parameters: 1) does not use the House/Senate revenue increases, 2) does not use the Governor’s bonding proposal, 3) does not merge the HCAF into the general fund, 4) uses the Governor’s fees and 5) uses the House education shift. Speaker Kelliher says leadership is open to taking a look at what they come up with and deciding if their proposal “meets the goals and needs of Minnesotans.”
  • Kelliher said this could be a two-step process where they pass initial budget bills, then pass another round of bills with additional cuts.

-Christina Wessel

About Christina Wessel

Christina served as the Minnesota Budget Project's deputy director until January 2014.
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