Steve Sviggum and John Hottinger discuss the state revenue forecast

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Minnesota Republican House Speaker Steve Sviggum and DFL Senate Assistant Majority Leader John Hottinger talk about their priorities, in light of new state revenue forecast. Program contains pledge drive segments.

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(00:00:00) With news from Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Greta Cunningham lawmakers, and the governor will have about half a billion dollars less than expected to cut taxes or increase spending this legislative session the latest state revenue forecast released today shows the previously projected three billion dollar budget surplus over the next two years now stands at about 2.4 billion dollars dfl Senate Majority Leader Roger, Moe says the state is still in good shape financially, but the shrinking Surplus projection should make everyone at the Capitol more (00:00:29) cautious. I think in terms of our approach, we don't believe that we're going to change the strategy and the message that we've been giving you we will balance our program between appropriate and sustainable tax cuts and the kinds of Investments that are important to the future of this (00:00:50) state most as many lawmakers thought the original forecast in November was too optimistic. So they're not surprised. The latest numbers are smaller Minnesota's freshman senator. Mark Dayton makes his first speech on the senate floor this afternoon Dayton a Democrat will talk about prescription drugs. He'll push President Bush and Congress to put prescription drug coverage for seniors at the top of their agenda date made the issue a centerpiece in his Senate campaign Wisconsin toddler found unconscious in cold weather remains in critical condition today at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Two-year-old less Heineken wandered away from his parents Farm House near Eau Claire sometime after 3:00 in the morning yesterday. He was wearing pajamas and a sweatshirt when his dad found him in the snow shortly before 7 unconfirmed Reports say the boy's body temperature dropped to about 65 degrees soon after he was found the forecast calls for Sunshine in the South and West with highs today mostly in the 20s right now in the Twin Cities partly cloudy and 12 degrees. That's a news update. I'm Greta Cunningham (00:01:48) programming on Minnesota Public Radio is (00:01:50) supported by Sylvan Learning Center's offering high impact personalized academic programs to help children reach their full potential 1-800 educate. (00:02:00) Just a warning later this hour some of you listening to us in Greater. Minnesota will temporarily lose your radio signal due to solar interference. Now the outage should only last for a couple of minutes and we apologize in advance for the inconvenience encourage you to stay tuned in Minnesota Public Radio. So if your radio shuts off for a little while, hang in there, we'll be right back. In constant sorrow through his day. (00:02:43) I've seen true (00:02:45) but learn a Benson I'm not entirely sorrowful at this (00:02:49) hour. No, I'm (00:02:51) Stan's are we had a great show of support deaf people last hour, we made our goal for those of you who are listening last hour back to what we had about a thousand dollars. So great. Great turnout from the midday listeners. Now, here we are again. What have you done for us (00:03:08) lately? Ha ha ha. I know I know it feels that way. Doesn't it? We have another goal this hour and guess what? It's $10,000 for the next hour of midday. That's what we need to raise to keep on track during this winter membership drive here at Minnesota Public Radio, although it is really it's important to But this is a short membership Drive. We're only going to be here for the next three days. So we have to get a lot of work done in that amount of time to meet our overall goal here of 1.2 million dollars for this membership drive we can do it. But we do it member by member when you call 1-800 to to 728 11 or sign on as a member on our website at Minnesota Public Radio dot-org (00:03:50) 1-800 to to 7 2011 and we want to remind everybody that when you call in even if you don't make a pledge, you will automatically be entered in the drawing for the big giveaway to New Orleans. Somebody's going to win a round trip ticket trip round. I can't say (00:04:07) this a round trip trip help me out here a round-trip travel round trip. (00:04:13) For to to New Orleans, did I get that out? (00:04:17) Right? Well anyway, yeah two people are going (00:04:20) to go to New Orleans on our nickel courtesy of Northwest Airlines all the ground transfers you get put up in a very nice hotel. But yes there he (00:04:30) goes now. I don't think they've left yet. (00:04:32) But anyway, here's the deal. You have to get entered in the drawing by the end of today today. And so if you've been thinking about calling anyway do it right now get your name in the Hat and 1-800 to to 728 11 and show your support for good quality news and information programming for the midday broadcast kind of an odd duck as radio programs go where else after all do you hear full-length documentaries and speeches basically uninterrupted speeches and newsmaker Collins in the rest. It's kind of a unique format one that doesn't appeal to everybody but I'm guessing it appeals to you because you're listening right now. And what we need you to do is to help. Fourth 1-800 to to 7 (00:05:14) 2011 now Gary is as I understand it. We are still able to give away this O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack CD during this hour of midday as well. So for those of you who got a chance to listen to the conversation last hour with T Bone Burnett, and we still have the soundtrack CD available when you call 1-800 to to 7 2011 and let me tell you it has been popular with the midday crew today that we have people calling in probably the vast majority of them took us up on this special thank-you gift. We'd like to thank Pamela melander who called in from Spicer and she's taking home the oh brother were out. There's out art thou CD. I've done this before you can't say it too fast. Yeah Oh Brother Where Art Thou CD John Old Meyer called in from Holland, Minnesota and laura-leigh Delorenzo also became a member here. She called in from Marine on st. Croix. Who are we talking to today? We're talking to all of the midday listeners. But who can hear us right now? We're talking to you become a member of Minnesota Public Radio and help pay for this great programming 1-800 to to 728 11 is the number to (00:06:22) call. You know, it just dawned on me Lorna even if folks have their own copy of the soundtrack CD already or maybe aren't personally interested in it. The odds are pretty good that this would make a great gift for somebody. Yeah. They very very popular as we were noting earlier. It's been number one on the country charts for quite some while now, it has moved up to 15 overall great crossover appeal apparently, so, you know, if you're thinking about a gift for someone maybe for yourself what the heck keep it yourself 1-800 to to 7 2011. There are seven callers on the line right now. Each of those seven folks is being entered in the drawing for the trip to New Orleans if your name is not in the kitty yet. Why not give yourself a chance to win? You don't even have to pledge when you call. Of course. We hope you will that's why we're here. We're trying to raise money to pay for the programs that you listen to on this station, like midday $10,000 our goal this hour and so far about fourteen hundred dollars pledged at 1-800 to to 7 2011. (00:07:25) Now if you have never gone through this process of becoming a member before we're here to tell you today that it's a very easy process. You just have to pick up the phone and call one eight hundred two to seven 28:11 a friendly volunteer will answer the phone and we'll ask you what membership category what level of support you'd like to contribute today and they'll take a little bit of pertinent information and you'll be on to whatever it is that you have left to do with your day feeling good about the fact that you did your part because thousands of other people have become members of Minnesota Public Radio. They've helped build the station up over the station's up over the years to what it is today. We wouldn't be here. If not for all of those wonderful listeners who became members of Minnesota Public Radio. We need to continue this process of cultivating our membership. So we're coming to you. - membership drive this winter and asking you to do your part 1-800 to to 728 11 or online at Minnesota Public Radio dot org (00:08:22) sync of the Act of Faith it took for folks 25 30 years ago. Yeah who called it and became members at that time and doing this for a long time now, but you know, it wasn't the station wasn't what it was what it is today wasn't like that then it was a risk, but they invested took a chance thought there were the germs of something useful there and by golly as the membership has grown over the years one by one by one the programming has gotten better. And that's what they're really this is all about. Some of those folks aren't going to be able to renew their membership. So we're asking it a step forward take their place in line. Hopefully, we'll be able to add a few more and the programming will get better 1-800 to to 728 11 do something for yourself. You're not buying a pig in a poke here. If you like the programming give us a call one eight hundred two to seven 28:11 (00:09:17) as we've been talking about a really hot item is the O Brother Where Art Thou CD that we're sending out to everyone who becomes a member for $10 a month here at Minnesota Public Radio. And you know, you spend $10 on you can easily spend it on any number of things a couple of cups of coffee or lunch. And you know, you don't get any long lasting satisfaction from those items. Well with Minnesota Public Radio, the money is coming right back into the programming that you enjoy the continuation of these great programs like midday. That's where your money goes when you call 1-800 to to 728 11 and the extra benefit of signing up during membership drive as we have these great. Thank you gifts including this O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack CD that you've been listening to this afternoon that can be yours for $10 a month, but you have to call 1-800 to to 728 11 (00:10:10) lots of callers on the line. Through our midday program so far, but some of you haven't had a chance to call us yet. And we really do need to hear from you. We are well little bit behind. I think where we need to be to get to the end of the week here in good shape. What we've done is shorten them with membership drive just as much as possible so that we don't we're not on the air interrupting programming but to get to the goal we still need to get to the goal. So what we need to do is when we're on the air have all of you call and take care of your business. It takes about a minute or two of your time three people on the line right now at 1-800-273-8255 going to win a trip to New Orleans. I know and somebody else is going to say oops. I wasn't on the (00:10:58) drawing. I might have one I didn't call him. I know, you know, if you're waiting for extra reminders during this membership Drive, you're probably not going to get him. It's a short membership drive. We just were taking a few opportunities here to come your way and remind you about becoming a member. It's not like we're going to be here for another week. So, you know take advantage of the the moment really by going to your phone right now signing up as a member of Minnesota Public Radio 1 800 2 to 7, 2011. Lots of nice thank-you gifts to send along your way and you have this opportunity to go to New Orleans. If you happen to be the lucky winner of our drawing (00:11:35) in just a couple of minutes. We're going up to the state capitol the new revenue forecast figures are out, and we'll be talking with Minnesota house Speaker. Steve swag amid dfl Senate assistant Majority Leader John hot injure to find out what happens next a little less money. The state will have to work with is that mean big changes in terms of proposed tax cuts spending programs in the rest, or just a little tinkering at the edges will find out here in a few minutes and you'll have a chance to talk with the legislative leaders. But right now we're urging you to talk with our volunteers. 1-800-273-8255 7 2011 (00:12:13) The goal for the our $10,000. So we need to really encourage everybody who's listening right now to go to the phone and become a member of Minnesota Public Radio because it's a hefty goal and we don't have a lot of time to do it one eight hundred two to seven 28:11 the information that you get on. Midday is useful to your life. I mean that the things that the discussions that we have on these programs and the people that we hear from this is information that you can use. We hope you value it and become a member as a result 1-800 to to 728 11 or online at Minnesota Public Radio dot (00:12:45) org still $8,300 to go keep the phone's ringing here. We're going to go up to the state capital to talk State budgets taxes spending in the rest but to keep the phone's ringing. Let's see if we can make our goal. It's very very important that we stay on track. Again the number to call 1-800 to to 728 11. If you're online you can join us online at Minnesota Public Radio dot-org Lorna Benson. Thank you for joining us. You'll be Here a little later. I will thank you Gary. All right, let's talk money. Meanwhile back in November. You'll recall State Finance commissioner Pam Wheelock looked over the state revenue projections for the next couple of years and announced that the state had a boatload of money. Well, apparently the boat is taking on a little bit of water new Revenue projections out today show that the state is now expecting a surplus of eight hundred and fifty six million dollars for the rest of this fiscal year. That would be through the end of June that's down about 67 million dollars from earlier projections and the longer range projection for July of this year through July of 2003 is down about 500 million from last Fall's three billion dollar Surplus projection. So in short the governor and legislators have a little less money to work with this spring question is what does that mean? Does that mean smaller tax cuts? No tax cuts would could we expect less spending on education? Another programs in the governor has recommended joining us today from the state capitol is dfl Senate assistant Majority Leader John huttinger and we're expecting a shortly that Minnesota house Speaker. Steve swigging will be joining us as well. And as always we invite you to join our conversation. If you have a question for to of Minnesota's top legislators about the Fallout from these new Revenue figures. Give us a call here. Our Twin City area number is 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities. You can reach us toll-free and that number is 1-800-218-4243 or 1-800 to for to to 828 Senator. Thanks for joining us this afternoon. I appreciate the chance and I hope your volunteers got my call increasing my pledge. Oh bless your heart. Well while we wait for house Speaker a swig. Um, I'm wondering from the Senate perspective. Do these new Revenue figures do they indicate that you're going to have to change your plans substantially in terms of spending and taxing. Well, one of the things that we have done since then the speaker's arrived. So I'm sure he'll be on born in the second. But one of the things that we've done since the beginning of the session at the Senate side has been indicating. We wanted to hear from the people of Minnesota and reaction to the governor's budget proposal and we've heard a lot of testimony already from people in Minnesota, but I think with this reduction in terms of the revenues that we're going to have available, we will continue to listen and respond to those changes will be interested in seeing what changes the governor is going to recommend and in essence what we've heard during our hearings is that there's been a lot of concern about the level of investment in education and in health care that the governor had proposed and I don't think that'll change in light of the new budget forecast in terms of the rebate question the money available for the this fiscal year from now on. July the senate had talked about essentially splitting the money between transportation and rebate back to the taxpayers. Are you still thinking along those lines or are you going to take a second? Look at that? Well, I think that the proposal that we had offered to the house and to the governor for their consideration was that we take the the short term Surplus which is down about 67 million dollars and split it between a tax rebate and a transportation injection for some current projects. I think we generally believe that that sort of shared use of that excess. Revenue would still be a prudent idea but there's less of it available for either a rebate or Transportation investment speaker Swagger has joined us. Good afternoon. Mr. Speaker. Hi Gary, sorry for being a little bit late. Oh, no problem at all. Do you think these new Revenue projections are going to significantly change the way you folks are looking at taxing and spending no Gary. I don't think so. I don't think That the the changes are really that significant. We had always assumed it would be a little bit softer. So the Surplus changes are I don't think surprising in any way. It's probably not going to change our Focus or our priorities at all and Gary, you know think of me thinking about this in the big picture the the history of what we're doing here during this legislative session. If we would have had this budget forecast in November. We would have said it's a very very good forecast. You know, it's positive we would have more Monies to be able to do some tax relief tax cuts or spending Investments. So, you know, even though it's down a little bit now in March it's still overall is up and up significantly with tremendous opportunities. You folks have been skeptical. I guess it might be a word for the various projections that have been issued in the last few years. They have consistently underestimated the amount of money that the state was collecting you think this one is more accurate than the His projections that have been received. Well, we're certainly going to deal with the numbers as the Department of Finance and dri has given us these numbers. There won't be any question regarding that Gary will be dealing with these numbers. You know, let's just assume that the next time we have a forecast these numbers are wrong there is going to be wrong high or wrong low. We know they're going to be wrong because forecasting is an inexact science. I have no no reason to question the numbers at this point in time in our economic history 500 million dollars less longer term from July of this coming year to 2003. The governor's proposed cut in income taxes is about 500 million dollars. Does that mean that there won't be a cut in the income tax rates? I think the answer to that is no I think there will be a cut in income tax rates. I think we need to continue to reduce that burden to try to move us out of the top ten on and that being one category of tax burden to move us out of the top 10 and are You States comparisons. I think what might happen Gary and when if you now they're just referring to the governor's recommendation, you may not see as large and income tax cut to remember he phase it in he added another 1/10 1/10 1/10 and I think 2003 he potentially might back off that if you also remember the governor did put in and his Brickman dacians he had some leeway. He had some flexibility and is he dropped some hundreds of millions dollars to the bottom line? I think you probably see that go. I think you might see the investment income. He had suggested that we take the the interest income off our reserve and added back into the Reserve. I think that was some 78 million dollars. I think you might see that potentially going as recommendations as well, but we won't know that for sure at least for this week maybe until next week will be see the governor's final recommendations senator huttinger of DF ehlers in the Senate as enthusiastic about a an across-the-board income tax cut. Well, I think we've emphasized. It's the beginning of session that we are much more interested in giving property tax relief to people that that's our highest priority given the fact there have been two income tax cuts in the last two years. We think it's it's time to look at the property tax relief that would help both business and individuals so that will remain our emphasis. I think the other thing that we've talked about from the beginning and certainly doesn't change is a necessity of having balance that when we make the decisions about what we do with our budget and what we would do with any unprojected our unexpected surgery revenues is that we come up with a balanced both a balance between spending and tax changes, but also a balance between greater Minnesota and the metro area there are different economies and different levels of success in the state and we can't forget that as we make decisions about what to do with our state budget. Do you think there's a trade-off necessary trade-off between an income tax cut and property tax reform? Well, I think that makes it more difficult to accomplish both given the budget changes that are going to take effect today. It seems that in the governor's budget proposal the income tax cut was kind of an add-on later on in the discussion a much of the summer was spent talking about his reform and reduction proposal in property tax relief. It seemed that the income tax was in addition to that near the end and would therefore at least seem to me to be one of the areas where the governor's likely to look at in terms of changing his budget speaker swaggin. Can you afford to both significant changes in property tax system and an income tax cut the answer is yes scary and it's certainly part of that answer that was being able to or willing to hold the line on spending increases. As you know in Governor Ventura is budget State spending does increase over the next biennium by six point two percent and that still is more than the rate of inflation and while we hear from a lot of the spending in Is that it's not enough that there needs to be more and maybe the priorities aren't right. You're going to see the house reshuffled the deck. We will reshuffle the deck of the governor's priorities probably putting more money to education a more money to higher education more money to nursing homes. I we're going to live within those priorities and those parameters and if you're if you're able to do that, I think we can still be talking about although maybe not to the same extent property reductions income tax reductions and I still want to throw in that sick tax that provider tax, which I think is probably the most onerous above all the taxes that we have should still be in the mix for a reduction as well. And yes, we can do all of that Gary maybe not to the extent of the same extent. I think that's the key word not to the same extent. There's 500 million dollars Less in the next two-year biennium. Certainly we can't do to the same extent the kinds of tax relief that the governor has talked about unless unless we make spending even less than he has proposed. We're This our about state budget forecasts budget matters a new forecast is out and the projected Surplus for this year from now through July is down about 67 million dollars, but still a sizable amount. The longer range forecast is down about 500 million, but it's down from three billion. So still a sizable amount of money joining us from the capital to key legislators to talk about how this might change legislative spending and taxing plans. Steve Swagger has joined us. He is the Republican speaker of the Minnesota house and the assistant majority leader in the dfl are in the Senate dfl urge on huttinger has joined us as well. If you'd like to call in with a question or comment for the legislators. The number is six five one two, two seven six thousand 6512276 thousand outside the Twin Cities 1-800 to for 2282. Six five one two two seven six thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight gentlemen, what about the governor's proposal to lower the rate of the sales tax but broaden the items on which the sales tax is collected. Is there any chance that that program will be enacted by the legislature? Probably not in the house Gary. I don't think that you as you sense any real support for for broadening extending the sales tax and the house had to services to labor. I think that that is probably the wrong direction to be going and at a time we still have a budget surplus. I don't think you necessarily want to send a mixed message and reduce some tax burdens on one end and raise them in another end. I don't think that that's sending a mixed message is good and the extension of the sales tax as well as lowering. The rate probably does not stand a very good chance of success in the house. How about the Senate? Well, we've been having hearings throughout the state and I think the speaker is outlined. Out of concerns that we've heard during those hearings, but we want to give the governor's proposal to reform the property tax system and to reform the education funding system and opportunity to be really heard and discussed by the public. So I'm not quite yet ready to declare a dead and I don't think the Senate is interested in declaring a dead until we've let the people of Minnesota really speak just one other quick thing Gary. I think you had misspoke earlier. You talked about a three billion dollar budget surplus being reduced by 500 million. It's a two billion dollar Surplus in the next biennium reduced down to about 1.5 billion. Oh a billion here a billion there under you're starting to sound like a federal budget it again, but it but it is it is 3 billion with this biennium and the next biennium the to combine were three billion point well-taken. I'm sorry for the for the misinformation spending that came up here just a few moments ago. You were talking about all the various pending requests and there has been a lot of talk about the need to increase. He's especially education spending both k12 and higher education spending given the new numbers. Is there going to be sufficient money in the budget to actually increase education spending Center. Well, I think it goes back to what we've been talking about a balanced approach the speaker commented that he thought there was at least even in the house of reshuffling so that more education money would be available out of the same budget proposal the governor made we're certainly hearing a strong testimony from a lot of people not just teachers not just school board members, but parents and other people who recognize the importance of education is an investment in our future economy that we need to do with something more than the governor's proposed how much more we can do is dependent upon the money available and we've got less money available that's going to be the key that we have to make that decision. But the Senate's going to continue to say what we've always said that we have to make a balance between Investments and tax changes. What? That money the extra money such as it is for Education come from proposed tax cuts, or would it come from other spending programs at the governor is recommended. Well, that's part of the debate. The speaker is pointed out that the house point of view has been to use the governor spending and to reshuffle the deck. I think the Senate is a little more receptive to additional investments in key areas of our economy and is interested in looking at different types of tax changes, especially in the property tax area. Mr. Speaker. Can you give us some idea of where the extra money for Education might come if there's going to be extra money for Education who you know, which which pot would be reduced. Okay. Well, let me lay out some some options, you know, I cannot at this point tell you this is the direction that the the house will be going Gary because we still have to go through a tremendous process as we are listening to the citizens as well. We have to go through our caucus in the house floor to set priorities, but you know, we are going to reshuffle we're going to reprioritize to Should to higher education towards nursing homes towards care for the chronologically gifted that that means that as we look at the governor's budget there would be some areas that we might have to take dollars away from obviously. For instance. Let me just mention a few the governor doubles the political contribution refund giving politicians a hundred percent more money to run for office. And then we had previously I don't think you'll see the houses are going along with that as a priority. I don't think the governor tremendously increases a family planning grants. I don't think you'll see the house going along with that as a priority the governor tremendously increases as the money that goes to Transit over roads and bridges. I don't think you'll see the house going along with that as a priority. Those are some areas that I think you can you know generally look to and tens of others that we will reshuffle the deck and give it to what our priorities are would be education and nursing homes. And I think the problem with that is the speakers talking about spending changes. That would maybe say five or You're seven or eight million dollars the type of needs that we're hearing about education and higher education. Even if that is the extent of the reshuffle eight million dollars isn't likely to make a big difference in terms of negotiations with the governor at the start of the session after he had kind of outlined in the broad term in Broad terms his is recommendations. His ideas his priorities people on both sides of the aisle said that now if he really wants to get this through the legislature he's going to have to buckle down and work closely with legislators throughout the session has that been happening it certainly has Gary and let me give kudos to the governor. I let me give him credit where credit is due while in the past two years. I have been somewhat questioning of the governor's involvement in the legislative process his engagement in the legislative process and maybe even critical of that this year. We've since that Stand up from the house standpoint that the governor is involved. He's met with individual legislators. Yeah, he's gone around the state of Minnesota at least been in three different communities that I had no have known of speaking to Citizens and speaking to local folks to get involved in his priorities or get involved in his budget or call legislators. And I think the Governor's in involvement has been much much greater and I want to give him credit for doing that for understanding. The process is not just make a recommendation and then don't look at it again until the end of May he has been involved and I think it will pay great dividends for his budget proposals as we go throughout the session say Mark agree with I'm sorry. I've got to say same reading in the Senate. I agree with the speaker and one of those three communities he went to was Saint Peter in my district and I was pleased to be able to be down there for part of his visit and in addition to advocating for his proposals. I think the governor was listening and I know that St. Peter gave him ideas that I hope he incorporates into his decision making process. The Senate's point of view is that we have an obligation here in Our obligation to state of Minnesota to find agreement with the house and the governor and coming up with a balanced approach to deal with our budget. Our job is to be done at the end of May to be willing to put on the table and discuss in make revisions in order to find that kind of agreement that minnesotans expect from us and we're fully intent in doing that. We have a point of view the house does the governor does and I think we all have to be open to making sure we come up with a good resolution Governor suggested that you folks do all of your business this year the capital bonding and not even meet next year. Is that going to happen Gary? I don't think it can happen or will happen this first year of the suggestion. Let me tell you that in the long term going into the next biennium zai. I think that the house can prepare and be ready to do that and would be supportive of it because I think it enhances that. The citizen part-time legislature, but at this point we are to do that. You have to pass a capital bonding bill that capital investment bill this year and our committees have not traveled throughout the state. They have not looked at the institutions. They have not looked at the needs. I have not been to Mankato and Winona State and st. Cloud State been to st. Peter to look at the needs of our various institutions. And I don't think you want us passing a six seven hundred million dollar capital investment bill without actually having had an on hands. Look at what the projects are and what's needed. I think we're going to meet next year but into the next biennium, so I think we can prepare Gary to meet only every other year as a governor suggesting Center Hollinger. Well, I especially like the speaker mentioning Mankato and st. Peter for his bonding committee to go and visit. I welcome trying to play to the set of good Senator. It's a good idea and I appreciate it and we'll send her bonding committee to Kenyan but Thanks. We never asked for anything. I think the speaker is cracked that as a practical matter, especially in bonding. We want to make prudent decisions. We don't want to make hurry decisions and wrong decisions as a result. So as a practical matter, I think the reality is we have to have a two-year session looking into the future. The question ends up being what's prudent is a prudent for the state of Minnesota to be have the legislature gone for a year and the governor totally in charge or not. That's that's certainly a good area for public debate and discussion. But as a practical matter we couldn't do that next year coming full circle when people listen to the news later today or pick up their newspaper tomorrow and see the headlines are going to see that less are smaller Surplus is being forecast. Should they still count on a rebate? Check this summer? My certainly thinks so a couple of reasons for that. First of all, the the surplus of this biennium Gary is still eight hundred and fifty six million dollars down from the 926 but 856 would be about halfway between what we gave in a rebate in 1999 and the rebate in 2000. We've already increased spending dramatically this biennium and we've had an honor we've had an agreement by the way part of the tax bill in 1999 was an agreement between the Senate the governor and the house that we would put in this automatic settle up language that we would make sure that the rebate that the Surplus bad be returned back to the citizens of the state and at least from the house standpoint. We plan to hold honor we plan to certainly keep on her with and to keep Faith with that agreement Senator Roger. Well, I think you can certainly count on a rebate to Senators always agreed that there is some level of rebate that would be appropriate what the language actually said two years ago was at the end of the biennium the governor would propose a plan to the To the house and the Senate and House and the Senate could accept it or reject it or modify it and we intend to abide by the law. That is we expect the governor to present us with a plan and we will reject it modify it or accepted. It doesn't compel us to do anything. We have a legislative responsibility to do what's best for the people of Minnesota. There wasn't a promise made the promise was made that we would consider that and make a decision and we have suggested that the best decision is to give minnesotans rebate but also to put some one-time investment in property in transportation where there is a vital and real need and that's our proposal and like everything else in the legislature. We will respectfully work with the house and the governor to come up with our final decision and and we will certainly also from the house side Gary work for a balance. But you know the honor of this year is that there be settle up the governor knows at the Senate knows that the house knows that we've already increased spending by 16% The house is a very very interested in increased funding for our infrastructure for roads and bridges very But we would like to do it on a permanent basis. Not one-time money is we'd like to maybe look at a constitutional amendment to transfer the motor vehicle excise tax or at least part of that. You know, I the Senate proposal today is to spend some money on roads and bridges two weeks ago. It was to spend some money for heating costs of Education of our K12 system the day after that the bill was introduced for heating costs for low-income housing, you know, the sentence just going to keep trying to spend it on till there's no money available to send back to the folks. Well, that's not true in the speaker knows that that we have said all along and have always committed ourselves to a level of rebate the only question the house turned down the effort to try and provide some help for schools at needed heating cost help. So we do have another proposal there for their consideration. But we've always said from the very beginning that we're going to put money in the rebate a significant amount of money into rebate. The only question is whether we do it all gentlemen, we need to leave it there. Thank you so much for joining us. Day, thanks Gary. Thank you. Really? Appreciate it Republican speaker of the Minnesota house Steve's Wiggum and the assistant majority leader in the Senate dfl ER John huttinger from Mankato joining us this hour of midday to talk about the impact of the new revenue forecast projections that have been released if you joined us late basically the the amount of money that's expected to come in the rest of this fiscal year through July is about 67 million dollars less than originally expected for the two-year period starting in July of this year going to July of 2003 down about 500 million from the two billion dollars that was expected 18 minutes now before one o'clock and this is midday. You know, it's about time to do join Minnesota Public Radio today and automatically be entered into our New Orleans Mardi Gras giveaway. Here's your chance to enjoy New Orleans unique Heritage, whether it's the cuisine the music or strolling down the Garden District Two lucky people will receive round-trip airfare and Northwest Airlines along with two nights lodging (00:38:07) and a may not (00:38:09) call 1-800 to to 728 11 or click and join online at Minnesota Public Radio dot org and do so quickly. If you would please it's 17 minutes before one o'clock. The time is ticking along here and Lorna Benson. We still have a ways to go to make our hourly goal in the stay on track so we can finish up on Friday as (00:38:29) scheduled. No, but I think I have something that will (00:38:31) help. Well, what would that be? (00:38:34) We have a member challenge Grant you're kidding. I'm not kidding you you know what that I think what do we have left to raise to meet our goal? (00:38:42) But $6,900 is (00:38:44) our okay, if we raise that by one o'clock by the end of this hour our members who have kicked in an extra pool of money to basically encourage other members to become members. They'll kick in another $3,000. So we have to make make our goal. (00:39:02) So for every dollar that comes in, we earn an extra 50 cents (00:39:05) basically basically pretty close to that. (00:39:08) Yeah. Well, so what's your work could put your membership to work here earn some extra money for Minnesota Public Radio 1 800 to to 728 11 is the number to call and is this this is only good till one o'clock, (00:39:21) right? We have to we have to make this well now it's down to $6,700. We have to make that by one o'clock in order to get our special member challenge Grant and if we make it, we'll get another $3,000. Wow. Yeah, so (00:39:35) three thousand dollars on the table here friends and we're urging you to do your part to earn it. If you can give us a call with a membership pledge at one eight hundred two to seven 28:11 1-800 to to 728 11 as Lorna said though, the the rules are strict here. Apparently, we have 16 minutes to raise a total of $6,700 make our goal this hour then we earn the extra three Thousand dollars. So do what you can $10 a month will earn you as a special thank-you gift. The very very popular soundtrack recording O Brother Where Art Thou has been very popular today, very popular all around the country will send that out to you as a special thank-you gift at the $10 a month level everybody who calls whether you pledge or not will be entered in the drawing for the New Orleans giveaway. Somebody is going to be flying to New Orleans free of charge on Northwest Airlines get all the ground transportation squared away. And there they get another plane down south where it's nice and warm you'll be put up in a very very nice deluxe hotel in New Orleans and get to sample all the fares of the city. Somebody will win that and today is the last day you can enter the drawing. So give us a call at one eight hundred to two 728 11:6 callers on the line (00:40:54) Lorna. We can do better than (00:40:55) that. Well we need to do if we're going to earn the extra three grand. (00:40:58) Absolutely we have. Oh, I think Got it, like 40 phone lines or something and volunteers just sitting there twiddling their thumbs. Hoping that you will call 1-800 to to 728 (00:41:09) 11 disparaging things about us. I might add, you know wrong with midday (00:41:15) got some new people on the new pledgers seven people on the line 1-800 to to 728 11, or you can sign up online at Minnesota Public Radio dot (00:41:27) org are they've got a matching Grant even a matching Grant and effectively still can't get anybody to call what's going (00:41:32) on. I don't know now, we're up to eight where it's kind of a slow start on this chilly day. I think people are just you know, they haven't done enough jumping jacks this morning and or now, it's afternoon. So you really have no excuse you need to go to your phone right now while you're thinking about it because this is a short membership Drive. We're only going to be here for the next three days and then that's it. So a limited opportunity for you to become a member here at Minnesota Public Radio. And the reason that we're making this Ship Drive short is because apparently you midday listeners out there. You want more? Midday, you want more news and information or concept? Yeah, you really don't want to sit here and listen to us ask you for money. So we are heeding the call, but we need you to heed the call as well 1-800 to to 728 11. I think think now we're kind of getting the message out. We've got ten people on the line. That's a little better (00:42:23) 13 minutes to go here to earn that extra $3,000. There's a matching Grant in effect. Those of you who are kind of veterans of membership drives know how wonderful they are because not only can we add your program contribution your contribution to the program Kitty, but we are in this extra money as well if we can learn if we can meet our goal here and we still have 60 $772 to go by one o'clock if we can make our goal we can earn an extra $3,000 for Minnesota Public Radio. So it's kind of in your court here 1-800 to to 720. Eleven, we'd like to say thanks to date and st. Paul for providing free parking to all of our phone room volunteers during the entire membership drive and also thanks to the st. Paul Grill for providing lunch for our phone volunteers. So their car is parked. They've been fed. They've been (00:43:18) watered there right (00:43:20) there ready to take your call 1-800 to to 728 (00:43:24) 11 what him to work 12 people on the line 1-800 to to 728 11 or online at Minnesota Public Radio dot-org take advantage of our special. Thank you gift at the $10 a month level O Brother Where Art Thou the soundtrack CD which we're hearing right now behind us here on Minnesota Public Radio and it's been a really popular CD. We've had lots of people take advantage of that. Thank you gift today during mid-day. And if you want to take advantage of it, you have to call 1-800 to to 728 11. Now if you've had a particularly good year financially consider our leadership. Circle member leadership level there's leadership Circle membership level. I'm (00:44:08) still trying to get people in New (00:44:09) Orleans. We only radio they know what I mean. They know what I'm trying to say. We have two options for you though. If you sign up for a thousand dollars a year, you can get 10,000 frequent flyer miles on Northwest Airlines or you sign up for $2,500 a year. We'll send you 25,000 frequent flyer miles and that can be yours when you call 1-800 to to 728 11 and join our leadership Circle. You can also sign up online at Minnesota Public Radio dot-org (00:44:44) now, we should point out again that we have are offering a special thank-you gift at the $10 a month level the copy of the new CD the soundtrack to the movie O Brother Where Art Thou that's Coen Brothers movie T-Bone Burnett the music producer. For both the soundtrack and the CD. It has really caught fire around the country and right here at Minnesota Public Radio. No question about it. People have been claiming these like they're going out of style and around the country. The soundtrack is now number what VIN number one on the country charts for a couple of weeks. It's moving up rapidly on the overall Billboard Chart as well asked count. It looked like it was at number 15 and climbing. A lot of people are just really turned on by this T. Bone Burnett said earlier last hour that he found out that there is a real thirst for this kind of music of authenticity in the rest. And (00:45:47) I'd say that the majority of people who called in to become a member during mid-day today have have taken away that soundtrack CD. That's that's what they want. So it's obviously a popular it like you said, it's really tapped into Do something and you know, if you want to take advantage of it, you can do that for ten dollars a month, but you have to call us to become a member at one eight hundred two to seven twenty eight eleven or you can sign up online as I mentioned before it Minnesota Public Radio dot org, and we had somebody call in earlier during the our who was who said she's seen the movie several times and just loves loves the music a great deal. And I wonder if do we have her on the line (00:46:33) Michael are you with us? I am so you're a big fan. I am I've seen the movie three times the first time in Malta Malta, you can believe that with four other people in the movie theater. Wow, (00:46:49) and I just saw it again last night. So are you your you've signed up as a member? And are you tempting a member but I probably upped our payment little because my husband has been in India for the last three and a half weeks with the American Red Cross. And so now I'm in charge of the money ha ha ha. (00:47:11) Oh he's gonna be surprised (00:47:13) so you up to your membership level and now you get to take home the soundtrack, correct? And I already have one but I'm going to give it to my son who likes all kinds of music and is a guitar (00:47:23) player. You have a favorite cut on the on the (00:47:25) record. Oh, no, you know what everyone gets to be after you listen? I play it over and (00:47:32) over. Uh-huh really is a wonderful uplifting some of it. Of course, is that the (00:47:38) when you've seen the movie, so it just all fits together. So well, (00:47:42) well, thank you so much for joining us Michael and thanks for calling. And upping the membership and blame, you know, if your husband complains just blame it on us. I certainly will and I listened to listen to public radio all the time. Well take the (00:47:58) blame. Yes. Thank you so much. Have a good (00:48:00) day. You too, bye-bye. 1-800 to to 728 11 is the number to call if you'd like to pick up your copy of the O Brother Where Art Thou CD $10 a month is the membership pledge and we'll send that to CD out to you as a special thank-you gift a reminder that everybody who calls in right now will be entered in the drawing for the giveaway the trip to New Orleans. Somebody's going to win that trip you have to call in today though and enter the drawing today. You don't have to pledge but you do have to call to get in on the drawing today that this is the last day and Lorna Benson. We should emphasize. Once again, we have just seven minutes left to go here. (00:48:39) Where's the panic button when you need it, (00:48:41) where is that panic button? Three thousand dollars at stake (00:48:49) here. I know and before we can even attempt to get that $3,000. We have to raise 4600 dollars in the next seven (00:48:57) minutes seven minutes to go. Here's the long and the short of it if we make our goal which was $10,000 this hour and we've got about forty four hundred seventy dollars left to go if we can make that goal by one o'clock six and a half minutes from now, we will earn an extra $3,000 from what the membership pool right? (00:49:17) Yeah people who are already members. They put together a little pool of money to encourage other people who listen to Minnesota Public Radio to become members as well. It's it's a challenge. (00:49:27) So if you contribute say a hundred and twenty dollars right now, it's really worth $180 to us just about and you can do the math basically a two for one deal 1-800 to to 728 11 is the number to call. We have 10 callers on the line right now. They Earning some extra money with their membership contribution. Why don't you do the same thing the if you're going to become a member anyway, might as well get a little extra boost 1-800 to to 728 11 (00:50:01) thanks to Peggy could tell who called in from Robbinsdale and became a member of Minnesota Public Radio Emily human called in from st. Paul and Marvin edvald called in from Bagley Minnesota. They called 1-800 to to 7 28 11 and were signed up in just a matter of a couple minutes as members of Minnesota Public Radio. They're helping to pay for the programming. They can tune their radio in for a whole year guilt free. (00:50:26) I hope I hope we got the we got some special arrangements so we can keep up with the tally here because we don't want to come up short. We've only got five minutes left to go and they're pretty good in the tally room with this but time is of the essence now just five minutes to go and if we can make our goal by one o'clock five minutes from now, we still have Thirty-nine hundred ninety dollars to raise what that means is that we'll be able to earn an extra $3,000 for programming here at Minnesota Public Radio that will buy a lot of good radio 1-800 to to 728 11. If you've not yet called give us a quick call here and do so, please in the next four minutes and 45 seconds 17 people on the line at one eight hundred to two hundred seventy eight (00:51:11) seven. Our pledge leader marlys is telling us that we can do this. We can absolutely do this. If we keep encouraging people to go to the phone 1-800-273-8255 not seem like a very long time. But if you go to your phone right now and make that phone call it will add up person-by-person member by member. That's how we do it here at Minnesota Public Radio lot of money on the line and extra $3,000 that we can add to our tally if you call right now yes indeed. (00:51:41) It's time to hit the panic button. No question about it one 802 to 728. Number to call for minutes left to go here and still we need to raise about $3,900 to earn that extra $3,000 for programming at Minnesota Public Radio. Now, we don't expect you to call in and pledge $3,900 though. If you want to will be led and take the pledge, but if you can call in and pledged a hundred and twenty dollars, maybe $240, whatever whatever works out for you paying a monthly basis take advantage of a nice premiums. We're offering including this O Brother Where Art Thou CD available at the $10 a month level. Whatever membership level is best for you. The important thing is that you give us a call. Now, we've got just three minutes to go. There is a big pot of three of money over here three thousand dollars at stake. And yes, yes indeed and there mumbling back there Lorna, they're saying hush. Why do you think they can make that with a matching Grant 1-800 to to 728 11 is the number to call. (00:52:47) You know and maybe you need an extra incentive. We do have a special giveaway. We will send you to New Orleans if you win our giveaway here. It's a round-trip airfare for to on Northwest Airlines and two nights at a deluxe hotel. I'm sure that sounds quite appealing to a number of people right about now and there's no way of winning this. Of course, if you don't call 1-800 to to 728 11, you can also sign up as member online at Minnesota Public Radio dot org now is the time to basically make your money work for you. We had a special challenge Grant three thousand dollars just sitting there waiting to be tapped. But our members have to heed the challenge (00:53:28) basically that are in the money (00:53:30) 1-800 to to 728 11. We've got 19 people on the line right now 19 people who are becoming members of Minnesota Public Radio people who are helping to pay for the programming they called 1-800 to to 728 11R up to 20 Gary we can do this. I'm feeling good. Do it. I'm a little (00:53:47) nervous. We're close to minutes to go two minutes to go and we'll find out if we made this matching Grant two minutes to go. We still have three thousand eighty six dollars to earn at one eight hundred to two hundred seventy eight 11 1 minute and 45 seconds left to go now. Keep the phone's ringing and we'll try to keep up with the tally will let you know whether we made it 24 callers on the line at 1 800 2 to 7, 28:11. If you're going to become a member, there is simply no better time than right now to call you'll earn extra money with your membership pledge when you call in make sure you tell the volunteer you want to count toward that matching Grant in effect, but you have to move quickly. You have 1 minute and 15 seconds to (00:54:32) call 1-800 (00:54:34) to to 728 (00:54:36) 11 this midday pledging is hazardous to my health 1-800 to to 7 2011 (00:54:41) keep the phone's ringing here will let you know whether we made the goal 1-800 to 28:11 (00:54:48) legislative coverage on Minnesota Public Radio is supported by Flaherty and Hood a professional association representing government and business on state public policy issues (00:54:58) still 50 seconds left to go. Let's see if we can make that three thousand dollar match. It probably depends on your call 1-800 to to 728 11. Minneapolis city council considers a new stadium plan that (00:55:13) would put a ballpark for the twins in the warehouse District. I'm Kathy Wars Ur that story tomorrow on Morning Edition from 4 to 9 on Minnesota Public Radio cater wfm 91.1 (00:55:25) You're listening to Minnesota Public Radio. Partly cloudy Sky 15 above wind chill Five Below it Kinder wfm 91.1 Minneapolis. And st. Paul partly cloudy through the afternoon. It could hit 25 degrees yet today partly cloudy tonight with a low around 10 above sunny tomorrow and warmer with a high near 30 and it's going to be fairly mild over the weekend.


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