Editor's note: The following is a newsletter from Lakeville's State House Representative Mary Liz Holberg, R-Lakeville.
The 2013 legislative session convened this week with a focus on the budget and school funding. I will be serving in my eighth term in the Minnesota House and am honored to be able to represent the families and businesses of Lakeville.
Paying Back the School Shift
Republican policies led to a state budget surplus in 2012 of $2.5 billion which was promptly used to pay back a large piece of what was borrowed from MN schools. Some of the surplus was used to refill a state budget reserve account. The remaining $1.6 billion in surplus funds paid off all of the short-term borrowing enacted last year.
School districts in the Lakeville area will receive the following amounts from the most recent $1.3 billion in school shift payback:
- Lakeville (ISD 194) $14,883,647
- Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan (ISD 196) $40,685,939
- Farmington (ISD 192) $10,106,331
When there is a budget surplus, law prohibits Governor Dayton from vetoing repayments of K-12 funding as he did in the last session.
Balancing the Budget
This year, the Legislature again faces a projected shortfall for the 2013/2014 biennium of $1.1 billion which will have to be reconciled. This is far less than the previously forecasted $4.4 billion shortfall due to reforms and cost-cutting measures enacted in the last biennium, all of which were done without raising taxes.
One topic emerging from the DFL caucus is the idea of tax increases, including the possibility of income and sales tax increases. This is one of several ideas that could drastically slow Minnesota’s economic comeback or even threaten the gains we’ve seen these last two years.
The Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, reported this week that 60,827 new businesses were filed in 2012 due to our improving business climate. This is an 18% increase over the previous year and the second highest number of new filings in our state’s history. Tax increases which discourage innovation and investment could impede the momentum we’re experiencing from Minnesota’s small businesses.