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Letter: Compromise is the antidote to election-year politicizing

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On June 2, the Post Bulletin featured an article in which Senator Carla Nelson, a member of the GOP Senate Caucus, called the recent failure by the Minnesota Legislature to pass compromise legislation on the budget “shameful.”

It’s hard to disagree with this obvious conclusion. The legislators tasked with dealing with a $9.3 billion surplus had agreed on equal amounts of $4 billion each for increased spending and tax relief.

So, what went wrong? The PB article bemoans this situation as a missed opportunity to provide tax relief to beleaguered Minnesotans caused by recalcitrant members of the Democrat-controlled House who held tax relief “hostage” to three spending bills. How is this even possible when there was overall agreement on the size of the spending proposals? Could it be that the tax averse, Republican-controlled Senate, after getting the tax relief they wanted, decided not to negotiate further rather than fulfill their agreement to spend part of the surplus on programs like health and human services, early childhood education and childcare? The PB article provides little insight on this question.

Nevertheless, by failing to reach a compromise, the Legislature put Minnesota at risk of losing significant federal funds allocated to states as part of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.

It’s time for the legislators do their jobs. Instead of playing politics, they need to return to work and provide Minnesotans with the resources struggling families need and tax relief where it is justified.

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Henry A. Homburger, Rochester

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