Proposed budget deal: What do state employees say?

Posted at 4:10 PM on July 14, 2011 by Paul Tosto (2 Comments)

My colleague Molly Bloom has been asking state employees in MPR's Public Insight Network for their reaction to Gov. Dayton's latest offer to end the budget impasse and state shutdown.

Here is a sampling of what she's heard so far: Take a look and then add your voice.

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It doesn't do anything to fix the budget for the long-term. I wish they would cut income taxes and give Republicans a" win," then tax food and clothing by 2% to shift toward a consumption-based tax economy.

I would stay unemployed if they can reach a real solution long-term. But this agreement sounds lame to me.
-- Nate Dorr, Bemidji, Department of Employment and Economic Development

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What really needs to occur is a long, hard look at the many services we provide. Are we really getting the biggest bang for our money? Can we be more efficient? Is there a better way to do more with less?

But such a look at services would require serious work by our elected officials and, from my point of view, work they do not want to tackle. Too many special interest groups, too many pet projects.
-- Debie Tsuchiya, Bloomington, Department of Human Services

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I understand why the Governor has made the proposal he has to end the shutdown. The consequences of this shutdown reach far beyond the 22,000 state employees who are out of work. Daily more and more Minnesotan's are directly impacted by the shutdown.

But, I think giving-in to the intransigent Republican position is wrong; I think it reinforces fanatical behavior and reduces the likelihood conflicting legislative factions will be willing to negotiate in the future. Why should they? "Just say no until the other side says yes" will be viewed as a tactic that works. It will be very difficult to return to work with the same commitment to serving the people of this state.

My paycheck may still come from the State of Minnesota, but I don't really know who I'll be working for; it's certainly not the Minnesota I thought I knew.
-- Dan Fitzgerald, Minneapolis, Department of Health

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Governor Dayton was elected with a promise of generating more revenue through a more equitable income tax on wealthiest Minnesotans. Also, part of the GOP proposal is to delay state aid payments to school districts which is an accounting maneuver; it does not resolve the issue of the lack of funding for state government.

While this does put state employees back to work there is a part of me that feels let down. State employees who have been shut out of their jobs for two weeks now should feel as though they accomplished something longterm...I do not feel as though this does that.
-- Cindy Wagner, Mankato, Department of Transportation


Comments (2)

For once, would someone please acknowledge that high income earners in Minnesota are some of the highest taxed people in the United States? All we hear from the public and the media is whine, whine, whine about the wealthiest citizens of our country yet there doesn't seem to be a reality check that they already pay a much higher percentage of their income in taxes than the 50% of people in this country who don't pay taxes at all. How about the citizens who recieve more back from our government in the form of a tax return than they paid in, maybe we should address some of these inequities instead of beating this old drum of "tax the rich" Maybe we could also talk about the result of classism perpetrated by the Obama administration which has placed "the rich" in a position where they are not spending their money but holding it until they are not under constant attack by the society in which they pay 80% of the tax burden. Once we recognize the contribution many of our wealthy neighbors make to our society we might jump start the economy with new jobs funded by the dirty wealthy people who are critical to the overall health of the economy. Grow up Minnesotans.

Posted by Kristine | July 14, 2011 10:49 PM


Kristine,
There are two ideals at work here. Gimme gimme, I'm not responsible for anyone else, pull up your boot straps, or I feel responsible for others and regardless of how they ended up there (this is a HARD world) I want to provide those less fortunate with basic necessities of food, shelter, education, and health. I hope you never end up in a bad situation, but if you ever did, I'd take a hit to help you out.

Posted by Edward | July 20, 2011 2:01 PM


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