Roger Reinert-How Long Will The Shut Down Be?

I always enjoy listening to State Senator Roger Reinert speak. He is an educator, state senator, was a state representative and was on Duluth’s city council for 5 years. Did you know that he teaches political science classes (he’s the department) at Lake Superior College and will be teaching a class or two at UMD? He use to teach in the high school.

Tidbits:  I learned that there are 21 new members down there in St. Paul, and that we can’t live year to year, budget to budget. We as a state need to be substainable for at least 5 years. Did you know they work into all hours of the night? He is really a Duluth Senator as well. He comes home to sleep in his own bed as much as he can. He is concerned about the issues in our region, and we are thankful for that.

I like how he makes everything real, so that you can see it and feel it.  He had a handout of a dollar cut into parts. I thought it was interesting to see how much of that dollar went to different places making it tangible.

K-12 Education (40 cents)-Did you know that there are lots of school districts borrowing to make payroll and pay their bills?

Health and Human Services (28 cents)-The costs are not going down, they just keep going up and up with medical care.

Property Taxes (9 cents)

Higher Education (9 cents)

Public Safety (5 cents)-We sure can’t live without these services.

Argiculture and Veterans (1 cent)

Environment (1 cent)

Economic Develpment (1 cent)

Transporation (1 cent)

State Government (2 cents)

Debt Service (3 cents)

If our state goverment shuts down students won’t be going back to college, background checks won’t be possible, students won’t be going back to school, people will be uninsured, no one will be paid in nursing homes, and the list goes on.

He lists our source of revenue as:  income tax, sales tax, fees/surcharges, “sin taxes” (cigarettes and alcohol) and gambling (state operated casinos, slot machines at the Horse Race Tracks, the Mall of American and airport in the cities.

These four areas comprise nearly 90% of our State’s General Fund:

Cuts will have to be make in these areas:

K-12 Education (41% of our budget),

Health and Human Services (less than 30% of our budget but the fastest growing budget is Human Services with the majority of the money going to nursing homes.),

Taxes, Aids, and Credits which are about 10% of the budget and

Higher Education which is about 9% of the budget.

I don’t think this would be an easy job to have.

Check out the tough choices they have to make on this website to balance the budget: