Letter: Puzzling state budget decisions
I watch the budget work of our state legislators with furrowed brow.
I am having trouble understanding why most programs are facing cuts when we have a current surplus.
I was reading an article with the headline "Minnesota state parks face major budget squeeze (Star Tribune, April 10, 2017)." It notes that the millions of Minnesotans visiting parks this year may be surprised at the budget proposals moving through the majority party-controlled Legislature. It may mean bathrooms will be locked, nature talks cancelled, or camping cancelled after Labor Day at all or in some parks.
My first thought is that this sounds like action taken when there is a budget squeeze. We all can tighten our belts when needed to get by, but when things are relatively better, isn't that the time to set some money aside for future downturns and strengthen areas that have been left behind or need modest improvements?
It appears the budgets are being squeezed in many areas to provide a bigger targeted tax cut. I can understand trimming income when times are sustainably good, but do not understand cutting budgets to do it.
I may see a modest amount of money put into my pocket, but what good is it going to do when I need to use the park bathroom and the door is locked? I do have the option of standing behind a nearby tree to go to the bathroom. And I can always hold a blanket up for my wife to go.