GOP leader: Room for budget compromise, but not on taxesby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said Wednesday there is plenty of room for compromise on Minnesota's budget, but not when it comes to raising taxes.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed raising taxes on top earners to help address the state's nearly $5 billion budget deficit.
Koch said she's confident the Republican-controlled Legislature will reach an agreement with Dayton, but she said GOP lawmakers have ruled some things out.
"We're not going to compromise our principles, and that is raising taxes," Koch told MPR's Morning Edition.
There is room for compromise on things like tax relief and policy legislation, she said.
Dayton told Morning Edition on Tuesday that Republicans weren't being honest about the cuts they'll have to make to nursing homes and other areas of the budget. He also said the Republican budget plan relies on federal waivers that are no sure thing.
But Koch defended the plan, saying the federal health care waivers are possible — especially if Dayton and Minnesota's congressional delegation help lobby for it.
Koch said filling such a large budget gap is difficult.
"This is not about nibbling around the edges," she said. "We have to do the real hard work, the reforms and changing how we fund things. That's a lot harder."
(MPR's Cathy Wurzer contributed to this report.)
- Morning Edition, 04/20/2011, 7:20 a.m.