Part III: Plan for Government Reform
1. Hold state spending in FY2012–13 to projected revenues minus job-creation tax relief.
Current state general fund spending (FY2010–11) is $30.7 billion, not including $2.2 billion in additional one-time federal “stimulus” money to soften projected budget cuts. Tom Emmer believes that Minnesotans cannot shoulder the higher tax burdens which Mark Dayton and Tom Horner propose. Emmer also believes that the only correct policy to solve Minnesota’s jobs deficit is to provide employers with tax relief so they reinvest in their businesses and hire new workers.
With state revenue projections expected to grow to $32.9 billion in FY2012-13, Tom Emmer believes we can help employers create new jobs, hold K-12 education funding harmless, and maintain core services with broad reforms without raising taxes.
2. Reprioritize unsustainable, run-away human services spending to focus on the most vulnerable.
Left unchecked, health and human services spending increases will destroy Minnesota’s ability to fund schools, roads, public safety, and other core functions. Health and Human Services is set for a 32% percent increase in FY2012-13. If left unchecked Health and Human Services spending will more than consume current state revenue by 2020.
- Refocus spending on programs for children and seniors which have been historically underfunded.
- Work with the legislature to reform programs for adults.
- Health and Human Services will total $9.6 billion; a $650 million increase in state funding.
3. Reform the relationship between state and local governments.
- Reform Local Government Aid to focus solely on public safety and critical infrastructure needs. Originally LGA was a means to help property-tax poor local units of government meet critical needs like policing, fire protection, and sewer services. Over several decades, LGA expanded to an often politically targeted subsidy for many local governments - in the process paying for non-critical services. Tom Emmer believes that LGA spending must be held to a level which will meet its original purpose but not more.
- Give local governments relief from state mandates. Work with the League of Minnesota Cities, Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities and Association of Minnesota Counties to identify mandate reforms that will alleviate unnecessary burdens on local units of government.
4. Put state government bureaucracies on a diet.
- Cut bureaucracies and programs which are not fundamental to state government’s mission.
- Reduce the government workforce through attrition and early-retirement.
- Merge agencies to streamline decision making and reduce costs.