Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) today announced a set of budget principles the majority caucus will use when putting together the 2019 state budget. The principles were announced in advance of the February 19 deadline for Gov. Tim Walz to submit his budget to the Minnesota Legislature.
“As Senate Republicans begin the budget process for 2019, the public should know the principles behind the numbers,” said Gazelka. “Taking care of people, protecting taxpayers, controlling spending and getting done on time will be the guideposts used in the Senate as we build our budget.”
Take care of people
Senate Republicans care about people and it will be our first principle in putting together the 2019 budget. That includes kids in childcare, students, veterans, seniors in the nursing home – and everyone in between.
Protect the taxpayer by living within our means
We have a healthy surplus and the most robust rainy-day fund in the history of the state. There is no need to ask Minnesotans for any more tax revenue. We can take care of people without renewing the sick tax. We can make roads and bridges a priority without raising the gas tax.
Control spending and hold government accountable
State government should not grow at an unsustainable, unreasonable rate like we have the last eight years (39% growth in the general fund). Our job is to set priorities and make the tough choices to fund them.
Be transparent and get done on time
Senate Republicans will move the budget through the process in a timely and transparent manner. We will introduce separate bills for each part of the budget, hold open hearings for bills so the public can keep track, and negotiate in good faith before final adjournment.
“Certainly, there will be give and take with Gov. Walz and House Democrats over spending priorities, targets and policy, but Senate Republicans will stick to these budget principles,” added Gazelka.