House Bill To Repay Schools 03 Apr 12

The Minnesota House has passed a bill to tap into state budget reserves in order to start repaying about $2.4-billion dollars owed to Minnesota school districts. The House passed the GOP-sponsored bill Monday on a 75-56 party-line vote. It would shift $430-million out of state rainy-day funds in order to accelerate repayment of state aid to schools delayed in recent years to help cover state budget deficits. Republicans say that newly replenished budget reserves allow the state to settle debts. The GOP plan would cut the state’s reserves from $657-million to about $227-million. Democrats, including Governor Dayton, say budget reserves should be protected and have proposed repaying schools by closing tax loopholes they say unfairly benefit certain corporations. The bill now goes to the GOP-led Senate.