Senate majority leader previews budget frameworkby Cathy Wurzer, Minnesota Public Radio,
Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Senate DFL leaders will release their budget priorities Wednesday, a day after House DFL leaders released theirs.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook told Morning Edition's Cathy Wurzer there will be some differences. For example, the Senate won't call for a temporary tax hike on the state's wealthiest in order to pay off debt owed to K-12 schools.
"I'm not adverse to paying it back, and I think it's very important. Right now it's just not the highest priority for the Senate," Bakk said.
Bakk said the Senate will put more emphasis on property tax relief, and will work to address disparities in school funding that have come from some school districts getting voter-backed operating levies. Bakk said the Senate wants to give school districts more state aid so they don't have to rely on voters for funding.
The Senate DFL will also push for new cigarette taxes, collecting tax on online purchases and cutting spending in health and human services. Bakk said those cuts will be significant.
Bakk said it's likely the final budget plan will end up with higher income taxes for the most wealthy Minnesotans.
Later Wednesday, Bakk and other Senate leaders will publicly announce their recommendations which committee chairs will use to craft individual budgets.
Cathy Wurzer is the host of Morning Edition for MPR News.