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Tuesday Talk: How does Minnesota turn values into numbers?

January 22, 2013 By Joe Sheeran, Communications Director

Governor Dayton releases his budget today. It includes new revenue aimed at both erasing $1 billion budget deficit and investing in the future. It also reduces funding for some programs and services. This, however, is just the executive branch’s proposal. Over the next five months, the governor will work with legislators on a compromise revenue and investment package that moves Minnesota forward. What we decide to spend our tax dollars on says a lot about our values as a state.

What do you value? And how should we fund those values?

*We will be updating this post as we learn more about the governors proposals, which are expected to be released at 11am.  

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  • Bernice Vetsch says:

    January 22, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I would ask that the state repay the money it owes K-12 education and also that it return the state’s portion of higher-ed funding to its pre-Pawlenty levels to protect students from having to incur gigantic debts in order to get a degree.

    I would also ask that we protect low-income, disabled and elderly persons from the expense of purchasing insurance and paying co-pays and deductibles.

    Minnesota could incorporate the Minnesota Health Plan into the exchange as the state’s single payer public option.  It should be open to anyone who qualifies for MinnCare, Medicaid or the Medicare Part D drug plan.

    Part D was written to please Big Pharma and the insurance industry in the office of the Congressional rep who is now Pharma’s chief lobbyist. Medicare is forbidden to negotiate discounts on behalf of seniors. 

    Seniors are limited by their insurers to a total amount of expense (paid by them and seniors).  When that amount is reached, seniors fall into the Doughnut Hole: the point at which the insurer stops paying anything toward drug costs until they have spent about $5,000 more out-of-pocket.  Seniors may pay retail, less any discount their pharmacies offer, from as early as June through December—money most of them can ill afford. 

    Moving Part D to the Minnesota Health Plan and putting the Plan into the exchange would mean that the state would negotiate drug prices and would save itself and seniors hundreds of millions of dollars per year.

  • Doug Jones says:

    January 22, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I would like to see an increase in the gas tax.  It should be adjusted to increase annually based on what the average vehicle mileage is so that we continue to raise sufficient funds to maintain our roads and public transportation and do not need to fund those out of general revenue funds.

    This will get gas guzzlers off our roads and encourage us to use our most fuel efficient vehicle.

  • ChristeenStone says:

    January 22, 2013 at 11:53 am

    There isn’t a lot I can add to what Bernice has said for she covered the issues of my concern so well, other than AMEN! I was so impressed with our President’s message on “We the people are the Government,” I think he covered the bases so well. We elect legislators to represent us and if we are not careful in our choice, they are there representing the big corporations who bought them.I applaud our legislators who are trying to get a living wage raise for our state, that would go a long ways toward helping our
    budget. Give people a living wage and let them spend that money for necessities, instead we give them food stamps and other aid and let business pocket the profit.
    I came from the fast vanishing age group that knew what it was to be poor in the Great Depression, which gave us a great compassion and concern for those less fortunate.

  • Joe says:

    January 22, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Here’s the Governor’s budget:
    Take a look; let us know if your values are represented.

  • W. D. (Bill) Hamm says:

    January 22, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Not being from either the Middle Class or the Rich, I see little more than a shell game here that could potentially balance this “Tax Reform” on the backs of the working poor by increasing regressive sales tax to us. Reducing sales tax to 5.5% is a middle class scam on the working class if broadaning it increases the burden on us. As for closing loopholes and helping buisnesses, I am awaiting the rest of the story. Your supportive WEB site gives no details, and the full report is still not available through another site due apparently to site traffic. As for the Citidiot who wants to raise the gas tax and screw his rural neighbors, hell no.

  • Doug Jones says:

    January 22, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Rural areas are where roads are most expensive to build and maintain based on the number of people they serve.  Is there a reason that those who choose to live in rural areas should not pay there share for their life style choice?

    Farmers do not pay road tax for their tractors and machinery.