Promises made, promises kept
The 2013 legislative session was a great success for Minnesotans. Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL legislators balanced the state budget without shifts or gimmicks, extended free all-day kindergarten to all children in Minnesota and provided property tax relief.
To meet these goals, the income tax was increased on the state’s top 2 percent of earners, 54,000 Minnesotans who make an average of $617,000 a year. This will impact 0.85 percent of taxpayers in Cass County and 0.8 1 percent in Crow Wing County.
This session’s increase in revenue and spending will replace only about a third of the real per capita spending decline the state saw over the last decade. Real per capita general fund revenue and spending in the 2014-15 budget is significantly less than the 2002-03 budget.
The amount of money taxpayers spend on state government, the “price of government,” will decline over the next four years.
In other words, state spending is not out of control.
DFL legislators also created MnSURE, a health care exchange accessible to individuals, families and small businesses. If the DFL had not taken this action, a federal exchange would have been created and all Minnesotans wishing to purchase insurance through an exchange would have to go through the federal government.
A Minnesota exchange could cost less than participation in the federal alternative for all parties involved. It is estimated that 160,000 small business employees will obtain insurance through the exchange.
With balancing the state budget in a fair way and the historic investments in education, actions taken this session will have a positive impact on Minnesota for years to come.
Thank you to the DFL for its work to build a better Minnesota during the 2013 session.