Good news, bad news
To the Editor:
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leadership have made a budget deal. Most of the details are still a work in progress, but there are a pair of items worth discussing.
The good news is we turned out better than I expected in the area of transportation, as the Democrats finally gave up on their 20-cent per gallon gas tax increase ideas. It was totally unnecessary and would have devastated many in Greater Minnesota who are forced to drive to work every day.
The big negative from this deal is the continuation of the provider tax. It’s also known as the sick tax because it’s levied on people who are truly sick, which makes no sense at all. This 2 percent tax was going to disappear Dec. 31. It will now become a 1.8% tax and will continue into perpetuity unless changes are made in the future.
Other than that, many details are still being worked out. Unbelievably, House Democrats are still debating whether to keep the $68 million in nursing home cuts in their budget offer with the Senate, so who knows what’s going to happen there.
I do know that a special session will need to be called when these bills are finalized, and I will be sure to keep you updated on the positive or negative proposals coming forward when our conference committees have finished their budget work.
State Rep. Bob Gunther