Continuing those unallotments, which were approved as part of last year's budget deal between the governor and DFL-led Legislature, would net $840 million in savings. The bulk of the savings comes from freezing state aid and credit levels for cities and counties, which results in $460 million less than had been budgeted for the upcoming two-year budget cycle. It also means $185 million less for higher education than had been budgeted. The plan also asks Minnesota Management and Budget to identify $200 million in cuts to state agency spending that could be made in this budget cycle.
Senate Finance Committee Chair Claire Robling, a sponsor of the bill, said Republicans and Democrats have shown they are willing to support these unallotment cuts by passing them last year as part of the final budget deal.
"They are cuts that have been supported by the majority of the legislators in the past and we think that they will be accepted again and expected by folks who have received them in the past," Robling said.
But Democrats blasted the proposal saying these cuts in projected spending will result in higher college tuition, increases in local property taxes and reductions in service to the elderly and people with disabilities. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen said the Republicans are already breaking their campaign promises with this bill.
He said Republicans said during the campaign "they are going to focus on protecting kids and people with disabilities and the elderly and they have already broken that promise with this proposal because these are going to hit exactly those items as well as the property tax increases that every Minnesotan is going to feel."
Click here to Download GOP bill's fiscal spreadsheet