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Open Forum: Dayton's Compromise

On May 16, Gov. Dayton offered his budget compromise offer: half cuts, half revenue. The governor modified his tax proposal and now the proposed fourth tier bracket would go from $85,000 in taxable income for singles to $150,000 and from $150,000 in taxable income for couples to $250,000. Now Gov. Dayton’s tax plan would affect less than 2 percent of Minnesotans.

We all understand that cuts have to be made, but the budget being offered by the Republicans would throw 200,000 Minnesotans off health care, raise property taxes, raise college tuition, make deep cuts to our nursing homes, and reduce services in our local communities all to prevent 2 percent of Minnesotans from contributing to the solution. 

Sacrifices need to be made. Tough budget cuts will have to be done, but everybody has to pitch in. For too long, we’ve placed all the burden of balancing the budget on the middle class and poor. The middle class is paying more in health care premiums, more in college tuition, and more in property taxes. The squeeze on the middle class has to stop, and those who have the most should be paying their fair share. 

Gov. Dayton’s compromise is smart, reasonable, and keeps our state from continuing to fall down a path to mediocrity. In true Minnesota fashion, Gov. Dayton is meeting the Republicans halfway while doing right by our Minnesota values. I support Gov. Dayton’s compromise plan, and hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will join him in negotiating a fair and equitable budget solution that protects the middle class and the state we love. 

John Ward

DFL state representative

District 12A