The 2011 regular session of the legislature was followed up with a July special session that finally resolved the 2012-2013 biennial budget of the state. The $34.4 billion base budget spends 7.5% more than in the previous biennium. The budget also included an additional $1.4 billion in one time authorized spending (not added to the base), accommodated by an amplification of the 30% education shift to 40%, and borrowing $640 million through tobacco bonds.
Additionally, the deal that was reached included a bonding bill that borrows and spends $497 million on state infrastructure projects.
In light of the fact that the state budget was projected to grow to $39 billion (and 18% increase in spending), it could be said that we reduced the projected growth by $4-5 billion.
While I voted for this budget in order to end the shutdown and get Minnesotans back to work, in my opinion this budget did not meet the goals that I and other conservatives in the legislature set as we began the session in January of 2011.
Given that the governor’s goals were to raise taxes on Minnesota families, farms, and other businesses by over $4 billion to feed the huge appetite of state government, this budget can be looked at as a true compromise between the parties involved in decision-making.
Additionally, a large number of reforms in state government were passed as part of the 2011 regular session. A copy of my 2011 post session report, outlining several of those reforms, is available for download here.