That was the overall reaction from Hopkins legislators toward the legislation that concluded the state government shutdown.
“This is regrettable because there were better ways to do this fiscally,” Latz said. “The reduction is two-thirds cuts and one-third borrowing, and to me, this is like paying your bills with a very high interest credit card.”
Simon called borrowing from the state’s tobacco fund and delaying part of the line-item budget for public schools a “fiscally irresponsible path that is only going to make matters worse down the road.
“Right now, we have surpassed California in terms of delaying payments to schools,” he said. “Currently, California is holding back 19 percent of what they originally allocated for education and Minnesota will be holding back 40 percent. School districts in the state are going to have to turn to reserves, bank loans and, of course, property taxes to make up the difference.”
Latz did see some silver lining and voted for a few of the bills that came out of the compromise between Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders.
“I supported the public safety and legacy bills as well as the capital investment (bonding) bill which will fund the new physics building and other facilities improvements at the University of Minnesota and the creation of the railroad switching yards in McLeod County which gets rid of the use of sidings for switching which have taken place in cities like Hopkins and Minnetonka,” said Latz, who also voted for the pension bill.
Still both men lament that the outcome is not what they wanted.
“Many of the newly-elected members came in saying they were going to do things differently and be good stewards of the state budget,” Simon said. “But they resorted back to one-time gimmicky shifts.”