Murray refused to compromise

Published 10:17 am Friday, July 13, 2012

At this time last year, our state was in the midst of a historic government shutdown. It never should have happened, and it should never happen again. But if Rep. Rich Murray and his Republican colleagues get their way, it will probably happen again.

Last year, Rep. Murray rejected not one, not two, not three — but seven balanced budget proposals in order to defend tax breaks for big corporations and the super rich. He chose extremism and a state shutdown instead of getting the job done for Albert Lea families.

Now, Albert Lea families and their children are paying the price for Rep. Murray’s refusal to compromise.

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Instead of closing tax loopholes that let big corporations hide profits overseas, Rep. Murray chose to borrow $700 million from our schools and children, leaving them with a $2 billion IOU and no plan to pay it back.

The result?

The state now owes over $10.3 million to the Albert Lea School District just from last year’s school shift and the school had to borrow $6 million to stay afloat. The district also had to cut 13 teachers and 20 part-time para-educator positions last year and will be forced to cut an additional 14 teaching positions this year.

And instead of getting rid of tax breaks for the richest Minnesotans, Rep. Murray chose to eliminate the market-value homestead credit, raising property taxes on 95 percent of Minnesota homeowners.

The result?

Albert Lea homeowners saw their property taxes increase 5 percent and small business owners saw their property taxes increase 6.8 percent.

Rep. Murray made a choice of how to balance our state’s budget — the wrong choice — and that choice has consequences.

Middle-class Minnesotans are paying higher taxes and Albert Lea schools have less funding and fewer teachers because Rep. Murray chose to prioritize special and corporate interests at the expense of the middle class.

Rep. Murray likes to talk compromise and reason in his hometown newspaper, but his actions in St. Paul last year tell a very different story.

Albert Lea families deserve better than legislators who fight to protect tax breaks for the special interests — big corporations that ship our jobs overseas and the richest of the rich who already get all the breaks.

Albert Lea families deserve a representative who will do their best to help them get back on track, not one like Rep. Murray, whose extremism and misguided allegiance to voting along party lines shut our state down last year.


Ryan Furlong

press secretary

Alliance for a Better Minnesota

St. Paul