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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

The Budget Is About Numbers - Not Policy

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 05/21/17 13:40

by Dave Mindeman

We always seem to come down to these end of session disasters when the Republicans control too much of the budget process. Dayton has pointed out the major reason for why this happens.

Policy positions.

The budget is about numbers. Dollars spent. Taxes. Revenue. It is not about the Met Council structure. It is not about vouchers. It is not about restricting local governments on policy making.

And if you listen in to the policy makers, they really are not that far apart on the numbers. The guts of it. The real budget.

But Republicans (mostly in the House) cannot let go of those policy issues. They have to ram them into the omnibus bills. If they don't get what they want in the early part of the session, they revisit them now - and it is not appropriate.

The business of the state requires the budget to be passed - on time. And the Republicans continue to fail to do that. And here we are again.

Because of policy issues.

Whether or not vouchers can be utilized in education has to be debated separately. And it should be done with hearings and openness. Not railroaded into an education bill. Not squeezed in, in secret, without proper transparency. But it happened.

Other policy issues get slapped into defunding this, defunding that. Health and Human services is especially vulnerable. Please, just pass a clean HHS bill that meets the needs of what we know. Don't speculate on motives or wants - the changing demographics speak for themselves. Deal with that - just don't add arbitrary policy.

Why is this so hard to understand?
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