Gov. Mark Dayton says he and state lawmakers face very difficult, unpopular decisions ahead as they go about attempting to erase a $1.1 billion budget shortfall. State finance officials on Wednesday released that grim forecast, although that estimate comes with a great deal of uncertainty, largely given the looming fiscal cliff in Washington.
Dayton is expected to present his budget proposal to lawmakers next month. He didn't offer many details this week but said his plan will likely include an income tax hike on the top 2 percent of earners, MPR reports.
In the Legislature, which will be controlled by Democrats, calls for tax increases will meet swift opposition, the Star Tribune reports. Incoming Republican Senate leader David Hann, says in the newspaper that "We don't think we need new tax increases. Maybe it's even time to talk about tax cuts as a way to stimulate the economy."
The two parties do seem to agree on some sort of tax reform, however, Forum Communications reports.
How would you solve the budget mess? MPR has a reader forum with some thoughts.