GOP House members launch "Not a Penny More Caucus"
Benson said a group of 34 GOP House members have joined the Not a Penny More Caucus pledging that they will not approve any budget solution that would go beyond $34 billion. That's the figure House and Senate Republicans' budgets are based on, which relies on no new tax increases to balance the state's projected $5 billion budget deficit.
Members of this caucus are also sporting penny pins to highlight their position. This could pose a problem for Republican leaders trying to negotiate a deal with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton. The governor's budget calls for $37 billion in spending and would be funded in large part by an income tax increase on the state's top 5 percent of income earners.
Republicans have made clear they will not support any tax increase proposals to balance the budget. Dayton has said he is willing to negotiate but there is no way he will sign a $34 billion budget. He said Republicans have to meet him half way with some sort of revenue increase. But will the GOP caucus be willing to go for a plan that has any revenue increases?
Benson is part of the camp saying "no." He is also an opponent of expanding gambling to solve the budget deficit.
"We don't need to add more taxes. We can do a budget. We can stay within our means," he said.