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Letter: School shift is still being done by state

Recently I saw a story in the paper featuring Rep. Roger Erickson (DFL-Baudette) claiming credit for “almost completely” paying back the school shift.

What Representative Erickson fails to mention is that the money being used to pay down the school shift is a product of the budget that the Republican-led legislature enacted in 2011. According to the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget, surplus revenue from the Republican-passed budget ending June 30, 2013 is delivering $636 million more toward the repayment of our schools. All told, the budget put in place by Republicans generated $3.4 billion in additional revenue without raising one cent in taxes.

The number one promise put forward by Democrats in the legislature such as Rep. Erickson was to address the outstanding debt for our school kids. Instead, the Democrat-controlled legislature grew the debt to schools by millions. Even while imposing a $2.1 billion tax increase on hardworking Minnesotans, Governor Dayton and the Democrats couldn’t find the money to pay back schools even one dollar during the 2013 session. When Democrats talked about repealing the farm equipment repair tax they had enacted during the 2013 legislative session, their proposed solution was to use the money intended for schools to fix their mistake.

As a father and a grandfather, prioritizing our kids’ education continues to be one of my highest priorities. It’s disappointing to me that after all of the talk by Democrats regarding funding schools, they still increased the school shift by $76 million. Our kids deserve better.

Rep. Steve Green