Democrats said today they’ve come to an agreement with Republicans on several budget issues, and are working to address the remaining issues before the end of the fiscal year June 30th. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Republican from Hiawatha, says his party has been reviewing the bills the Democrats have filed on-line.
Paulsen says they are going through the bills and putting them side-by-side to determine where there are differences so they can work toward a resolution. The Senate Democrat Majority leader said today they’ve agreed to holding school funding with no increase in the next fiscal year, and have agreed to a 2% increase in the next year, but want a 3% increase.
Paulsen says he’s not sure where the 3% is coming from. “That’s one of the frustrations we’ve had, it seems as we’ve moved towards them that they’ve moved away from us, we hope that’s not going to be the case as we work through the other pieces,” Paulsen said. Property tax relief is an issue that Democrats admit they haven’t solved yet, but Paulsen agrees with Democrats that they’re still working on it.
He says both chambers of the legislature and the governor are sincere in trying to come to a compromise on property tax relief. “But…if it was easy, it would have already been done, so we’re just going to have to keep fighting through that,” Paulsen says. Like Democrats, Paulsen is not talking about a possible government shutdown if they don’t agree on a budget by the end of the month.
Paulsen says he is working on getting it done and they have to work through the pieces and that’s their job. Democrats have agreed to a spending cap and Paulsen says they have to analyze that to be sure that the Democrat plans don’t underfund some programs.