Governor Mark Dayton and top Republicans disagree over the cause of a projected 188-million-dollar budget deficit — the state’s first shortfall in four years. Dayton said Tuesday, “I’m not casting any blame on anyone here. We collectively cut state taxes and increased state spending, particularly in areas like transportation, early childhood, K-12 and higher education, the health insurance rebate, and reinsurance.” But House Speaker, Republican Kurt Daudt says numbers prove that increased government spending — which Dayton advocated — caused the budget deficit. He contends a tax cut package that Congressional Republicans appear poised to pass will turn that around. “That tax relief will spur economic growth even beyond probably what we have right now…. I think that gives us a lot to be optimistic about,” Daudt says.
But others warn ripples from planned federal tax cuts could actually increase the state’s budget deficit.