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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 11:40 AM To: #COMM_All Commerce Employees Subject: Commissioner’s Note
Everyone: After five months of hard work and progress in some areas, the 2011 legislative session concluded as you know without a budget deal. While very disappointing, there is some room for hope. This last week, the Governor and legislative leaders have had substantive, constructive meetings, identifying common ground in many areas. In the days ahead, they will continue to meet to seek a budget solution. In the days and weeks ahead, the Governor will do everything in his power to find a budget solution. Meanwhile, we need to move forward with contingency planning for a potential shutdown. As you know, this will be a complicated, challenging process. In a few days, we will begin to talk in more detail about how the contingency-planning process will work. Thank you for your patience. Our state budget is not just about dollars and cents, but a reflection of our values and priorities. How we choose to close this budget gap will speak volumes about the kind of state we want Minnesota to be. The Governor has made it clear that he cannot support the all-cuts budget placed on his desk, but he is prepared to meet the legislature halfway. He strongly believes the severe impacts of a cuts-alone budget are too great. There is a choice – one that combines tough but responsible cuts with new revenue by asking the top 2% of income earners to pay more. This will keep property taxes down, keep thousands of Minnesotans from losing their health care, and avoid unnecessary cuts to special education, higher education, and programs that help seniors and the disabled. From the beginning of this session, it has been clear that compromise would be necessary to balance the state’s budget. During his Inaugural Speech, Governor Dayton said he believed that Minnesotans, in their wisdom, voted for a divided government because they wanted each party to work together for a budget compromise. Of course compromise is never easy, as each person must give up something important. But compromise is what’s needed to reach a balanced approach. As always, please let me know your questions or concerns. I am committed to keeping you informed every step of the way. Mike Rothman Commissioner
UNTRUE: The Minnesota Legislature passed a complete and balanced budget that funded Minnesota’s priorities at the highest level of general fund spending ever. This budget was VETOED by Gov. Mark Dayton as he prepares to shutdown state government for a tax increase on Minnesotans.