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Issue: Taxes and Spending - Archived Stories and Audio (by Date)


Governor Ventura's spending plan.

Arts Take Hit in Ventura Vetoes
Governor Ventura made selective use of his veto pen while signing four major spending bills into law Monday. He eliminated funding for about $12 million in projects from the four bills, in contrast to vetoes totaling $140 million last year. But legislators are protesting what they say is Ventura's bias against the arts, and rural Minnesota. 5/16/00

Session 2000: The Bonding Bill
Over half of the funding will be spent on schools, from childrens' programs to college campuses around the state. It survived protests by some House Republicans, brought on by Governor Ventura's last-minute insertion of transit money into the bill. 5/10/00

Good Deal, Bad Deal
Negotiators on all sides of the budget dispute at the Capitol say this year's deal does not constitute very good policy, and should not serve as a precedent in future years. 5/4/00

Three-Way Deal Solves Budget Impasse
Lawmakers agree to split more than $500 million of on-going budget surplus money three ways; between the House Republicans, Senate Democrats and Governor Ventura. Top lawmakers say the process wasn't pretty, but the results will be good for Minnesota. 5/4/00

Dashed Hopes Under the Dome
Had the legislative session gone according to plan, lawmakers would have wrapped up their work Wednesday and returned home to kick off their re-election campaigns. Instead, both houses will return next week to pick up where they left off - deadlocked over budget talks.4/19/00

Lawmakers Bicker Over Tax Cuts
Minnesota House Republicans have passed a tax relief package totalling three-and-a-quarter billion dollars over the next three years. But before the final 85-47 vote had even been tallied, Senate DFLers and Governor Jesse Ventura expressed strong reservations. 3/28/00

Abortion, Welfare Rules Highlight Spending Plan After a marathon 13 hours of debate, the Minnesota House approved a 300-page bill Monday containing a multitude of policy and spending provisions. Among its most controversial items are a total benefit cutoff for welfare recipients who don't comply with the program, and the "women's right to know" bill, which requires that specific information be presented to a woman seeking an abortion. House leaders say they folded many bills into one to save time, but they concede the bill will be a tough sell in a House-Senate conference committee. 3/21/00

Republicans Release Tax Plan
Minnesota House Republicans have presented the details of their $1.4 billion tax relief plan. The proposal contains many provisions taken from last year's compromise bill, including a one-time sales-tax rebate and across-the-board income tax cuts. But consensus between House, Senate, and the governor's office could be elusive this year. 3/20/00

The End of the Pork Barrel?
Minnesota's House Republicans have released their 2000 bonding proposal which they say is free of the pork-barrel spending of the past. The $400 million package conforms with Governor Jesse Ventura's spending target but falls short of what Senate DFLers will likely request. 3/15/00

Surplus Could Lead to Capitol Deal-making
The governor is still at loggerheads with the Republican majority in the House and DFL majority in the Senate over what to do with the $1.8 billion projected budget surplus. While some at the Capitol say the impasse could delay the end of the legislative session, there are at least some signs that all sides are willing to deal. 3/01/00

Spend or Save?
Despite Governor Ventura's insistence that most of the budget surplus be saved until next year, the news of a higher-than-expected surplus immediately touched off a round of legislative maneuvering over how to divide it between tax cuts and new spending initiatives. 2/29/00

Senate Approves Rebate
The Minnesota Senate jumps to the head of the line among those at the Capitol trying to give your money back. The Senate approved a bill that would rebate $453 million of sales tax money to taxpayers. DFL leaders say this rebate would be more fair than last year's because it would go to more people. Republicans say some of the money would go to people who don't deserve it. 2/10/00

Ventura Proposes Rebate; Defends Commissioner
The checks aren't in the mail yet, but it seems certain that Minnesota lawmakers will pass another sales tax rebate this year. Governor Ventura used his weekly radio show to propose his rebate plan, and to rail against lawmakers who voted against confirming one of his top agency heads. Although legislators are showing their willingness to challenge Ventura this session, everyone appears to be onboard with his idea of giving taxpayers another one-time rebate. 2/4/00

How Much Tax Relief?
Democrats at the state Capitol say Governor Ventura and House Republicans are going too far in opposite directions; they say Republicans are cutting taxes too much, and Ventura is spending too little, especially on rural Minnesota. DFLers announced out their own legislative priorities, emphasizing tax relief targeted on lower-income Minnesotans, families, and more spending on areas such as education. 1/27/00

Ventura Releases Spending Plan
Governor Ventura says he wants to "get control" of the amount of money the state borrows by selling bonds for capital projects. Ventura has announced his bonding recommendations for the coming legislative session, and the $468 million package is smaller than what Democrats were hoping for. Republicans in the Legislature are more pleased with his relatively small bonding proposal, but they say they disagree with some of his spending priorities. 1/14/00

GOP Tries to Avoid Tax Showdown
During the legislative debate over income tax cuts last year, Republicans took a lot of hits for supposedly favoring the wealthiest Minnesotans. DFLers complained loudly about how most of the savings in the Republican proposals seemed to go to the upper income-bracket; a criticism occasionally echoed by Governor Ventura. This time around, Republican Speaker Steve Sviggum is doing his best to avoid that criticism. 1/12/00