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Governor Jesse Ventura's Budget - Ongoing coverage from MPR's newsroom
Part of MPR online coverage of Session 2001
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Gov. Ventura Listen to Gov. Ventura's budget address.

O N  M P R
On January 23, 2001, MPR's Midday broadcast from the Science Museum of Minnesota, where Gov. Ventura made his budget public. Hear the governor's address as well as analysis and reaction.
Hour One | Hour Two
Interview with Gov. Ventura

What's Your Opinion?
How do the major points of the governor's budget compare to your views? Take our survey and have your opinion count. You can also see up-to-the-minute results.

The Body's Politics
Session 2001
Executive Summary(pdf)

Below: Budget Overview - News Stories Index - Reactions - Survey


Budget Quick Glance
Governor Jesse Ventura's budget recommendation would cut income-tax rates by a half-percent over two years and cut the sales-tax rate from 6.5 to 6 percent. It would also expand the sales tax to some services, a proposal that the governor admits is controversial. He says lobbyists are already throwing grenades at the idea, but elected officials should listen to taxpayers, not just special interests. His budget includes targeted spending increases in education, health care, transportation, and criminal justice, but doesn't fully fund many of the spending requests in those areas. Ventura is also recommending a $500 million bonding bill that he's asking legislators to pass this year, so they don't have to meet next year.
Read more.

Governor's budget address (Listen)
Budget Highlights
Where the Money Comes From
Where the Money Goes


Health Care
Gov. Ventura has allocated $14 million for eliminating racial health disparities in the state and another $22 million to eliminate teenage pregnancies. But some health advocates are disappointed Ventura didn't go farther in long-term care and children's health insurance.
Read | Listen

Higher Education
The proposed budget has left leaders of the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Systems sorely disappointed. They say they won't even be able to keep up with inflation, let alone proceed with their plans for growth, if Ventura's budget goes through.
Read| Listen

K-12 Education
Gov. Ventura says he wants to hold the line on spending this year, and his plans for K-12 education are as lean as the rest his biennial budget. Overall, his proposal provides only inflationary increases in school funding. A handful of education programs would get more state money, but some legislative leaders say it's not enough.
Read | Listen

Public Safety
Minnesota's judiciary fared better than many other departments in Gov. Jesse Ventura's budget plan. Still, the budget doesn't fully fund the state court system's major initiative for this legislative session. CriMNet is an integrated computer system that would allow law enforcement and courts from different jurisdictions to easily share information on criminals.
Read | Listen

Gov. Ventura proposes that Minnesota vehicle owners pay no more than $75 to renew their annual license fee. The money from tab renewal is constitutionally dedicated to road and bridge building. So, reducing the fee means less money for roads and bridges.
Read | Listen


"It's Devastating"
University of Minnesota President Mark Yudof says the governor's budget is "a step backward." He launched a statewide lobbying effort to convince legislators to appropriate more money to the U of M.

"It's A Budget We Can Work With"
Speaker of the House Steve Sviggum gives general approval to Ventura's budget proposal. He says he a $3 billion surplus gives little reason to expand any taxes, however.

"We'll Have Tax Relief and Tax Reform"
Senate Majority Leader Roger Moe says his major concern is balancing a sustainable tax cut with additional investments in education, transportation, and health initiatives. He also says he wants to make sure all taxpayers get a share of the relief.