Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Governor recommends 6 percent cut to system

Gov. Dayton released his budget plan this morning, and said, "A budget is about values and priorities as well as about dollars and sense." Dayton said the budget raises taxes on the wealthiest 5.5 percent of Minnesota taxpayers, increases funding for K-12 education and protects state aid to cities, counties and townships to preserve services like police and fire.

Dayton's budget makes almost $1 billion in permanent expenditure reductions, including a 6 percent reduction to both the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system and the University of Minnesota. A 6 percent reduction to the system equates to $37.8 million a year, which reduces the system's base to $592.6 million for each year of the biennium. Director of the Office of Higher Education, Sheila Wright, said the governor will protect the state grant program.

Commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget Jim Schowlater said in preparing the budget the administration was looking for a balance, including spending reductions and revenue increases. The detailed budget documents are available on the Minnesota Management and Budget Web site; however, that site has crashed likely due to the high volume. We will forward the documents once the site is back up and running.

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