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House GOP unveils spending budget, faces criticism from Democrats

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Republicans in the Minnesota House say they want no net increase in state spending this year.

That's part of a budget outline they revealed on Thursday. According to the GOP's statement, there doesn't need to be an increase in spending because the state is fully funded from last year's budget.

Speaker Kurt Daudt says the House wants the budget to focus on fixing Minnesota roads and bridges, and lowering taxes for families.

Their transportation plan budgets $7 billion over the next 10 years to fix at least 15,500 miles of road and 330 bridges.

The tax relief bill proposes tax credits to families saving for college and students paying off loans. It also includes deductions for families with school aged children, and property tax breaks for farmers and small businesses.

Their bill also proposes the tax on social security benefits and military pay be phased out.

"While Governor Dayton and Democrats seek to grow government, our focus will be on growing family budgets through targeted middle-class tax relief," said Majority Leader Joyce Peppin.

They also want an additional $35 million for bringing broadband to rural areas of the state.

There's no increase in spending for K-12 or higher education.

You can see all the proposed changes in a spreadsheet here.

The House Ways and Means Committee was scheduled to vote on the budget Thursday evening.

Meanwhile, Gov. Mark Dayton wants to spend $700 million of the surplus and he has a $1.4 billion bonding bill proposal, MPR News says.

Criticism

The Republican plan is getting some harsh criticism from DFLers.

Dayton opposes the proposal, saying it invests "too little in preK-12 education and nothing in higher education."

The governor also says that it "shamefully" fails to address the issue of racial disparities.

Rep. Rena Moran weighed in with some criticism, saying it ignores families of color.

"If we don't act this session to increase racial equality, we will be failing thousands of Black, Hmong, Latino and American Indians," Moran says.

And DFL House Leader Paul Thissen issued a statement saying that the budget "made well-connected special interests and the wealthiest few the winners in their budget plan."

https://twitter.com/mnhouseDFL/status/718183528844955648

The Democrat also commented on the lack of educational spending, saying it's a "bad budget for our schools."

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