It’s time to get serious

Republicans are being neither helpful nor serious about state budget issues.

by Daily Editorial Board

Last Monday, Gov. Mark Dayton sent a letter to the GOP leaders in the Legislature saying that he would veto piecemeal efforts to deal with the state budget. The GOP leaders responded by continuing to pass their incremental budget bills.

Among these efforts have been bills that will dramatically cut state health care for the poor and disabled, others that aim to cut 15 percent of state jobs and others that will cut higher education funding by hundreds of millions of dollars.

It is no secret that Dayton will veto these bills, but it is disappointing that the GOP is bullheaded enough to go ahead with them anyway. It is not too much to ask that they create a comprehensive budget plan.

Dayton has already released his budget plan to the public, making it available for legislators and citizens to evaluate. Republican leaders in the Legislature should do likewise so that there is a foundation for compromise. When a state elects a governor from one party and a legislative majority from another, compromise is what they want.

There is no possibility of compromise with the way the Legislature is currently trying to deal with the budget. For example, Dayton will clearly not sign a bill that cuts 15 percent of state jobs. But each side is going to have to vote for some things it doesnâÄôt like in order to solve the state budget problem: The only way to do that is through a comprehensive plan. This would allow a give-and-take where each side can vote for some âÄî but not all âÄî of what it wants.

The bills Republicans have been passing through the Legislature show that they arenâÄôt serious about solving the state budget issue but instead are only interested in imposing their ideology.