Minnesota budget deficit $5.2 billion short

by Minnesota Public Radio
December 4, 2008

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Education expenses
"I'm a public school teacher so everything I do affects me and my students. However, I also know schools spend their money foolishly. My school has more administrators than I can name, but 40 kids in a class. We have turf and a dome, but the books are falling apart. We have Smart Boards, but not enough server space to accurately update grades or save student work."

— Kate Fullmer, Apple Valley, Minn.

"I myself, am a Graphic Design major. I come from a lower middle class single mother parent and get no outside help to pay for school but strongly depend on MN grants and Stafford Loans. I want my representatives to know that EDUCATION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT thing right now, including higher education and private institutions. We are your future, so how you treat us now will affect how we can pay it forward in later years."

—Elizabeth Boeckman, Minneapolis

"It seems as if we've been dealing with some negative effects of the last cuts. We need to raise revenue, and that probably means higher taxes. Let's deal with the tax code so that all are taxed equitably (more for the higher-earners.)"

"Avoid cuts to public education. The Minnesota Miracle taught us that investment in education has tremendous pay-offs. Avoid cuts that would affect children's health care and education."

—Linnea Swenson Tellekson, Minneapolis


Property tax
"I am most concerned about my state income taxes going up, my property tax going up and post secondary education cost jumping dramatically. I have two teens headed to college in a few years and am struggling as it is with taxes and daily living expenses."

— Michael Neu, Richmond, Minn.


"The main place where I see the deficit's effects are on the infrastructure. For every new highway project adding lanes, there seem to be hundreds of roads and bridges in need of repair."

What cuts should be avoided? "Cutting public funding works such as schools, saftey and the like. I am originally from Portland Oregon, where we passed Measure 5 something like 10 — 15 years ago. It put a cap on property tax that really cut the cities budget, and we do not have sales tax out there. One of the results has been that all sports and bus service in the Portland school district have been cut. A lot of students have to take tri-met (our metro) to and from school."

—Oscar Tuerck, St. Paul, Minn.

What is your perspective?