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Governor's unallotment plan will cost Minnesota 4,700 jobs

In a tough economy where every job counts, legislators received information from State Economist Tom Stinson that Minnesota stands to lose up to 4,700 jobs under Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unallotment plan. Up to 600 of those jobs are going to be in edu...

In a tough economy where every job counts, legislators received information from State Economist Tom Stinson that Minnesota stands to lose up to 4,700 jobs under Gov. Tim Pawlenty's unallotment plan. Up to 600 of those jobs are going to be in education.

The news from Stinson came during a Legislative Advisory Commission meeting. As chairman of the Senate Tax Committee, I serve on the LAC.

In determining the impact of unallotment on Minnesota employment, Stinson divided direct job losses through 2011 into: local government (nonschool), 1,630-1,970 positions; state government, (including higher education) 870-1,630 positions; school districts, 300-600 positions; and the private sector, 500 positions. An additional 1,500 to 2,500 jobs could be lost as people without jobs purchase fewer goods, the industries losing employees purchase fewer supplies, etc.

Losing these jobs is unacceptable because Minnesota's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May was more than

8 percent and families are struggling to keep their homes, health insurance, and plan for their children's future education.

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While the governor has said that raising taxes is a job killer, Stinson told the commission that the governor's unallotments will cost Minnesota three to five times as many jobs as the balanced budget proposal recommended by the Legislature. The Senate tax bill I authored invested more than $300 million in job creation policies.

It's the governor's action, not the Legislature's, which in the end will cost the state thousands of jobs.

In the past few weeks as chairman of the Senate Tax Committee, I've visited communities across the state talking about how we need to get people back to work and a state budget that is balanced for the long-term, avoids shifts and gimmicks and raises revenue fairly for vital government services.

In the coming months as a candidate for governor, I'll continue to talk with citizens about these issues, how I have a passion for creating jobs and how I have the experience and leadership to better manage Minnesota's finances, and restore balance, fairness, and common sense to the state's economic policies.

Anyone with questions about the 2009 legislative session, tax bill or unallotment process can contact me at bakk2010@gmail.com .

Chairman of the Senate Tax Committee, Sen. Bakk, DFL, represents Senate District 6 and lives in Cook, Minn.

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