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Gov. Dayton Calms Fears Over Proposed Budget Cuts to MN Cities - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Gov. Dayton Calms Fears Over Proposed Budget Cuts to MN Cities

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  Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton stopped in East Grand Forks to calm the fears of city leaders facing proposed budget cuts.

  Many city officials were upset with the Governor's proposal on how State tax dollars for cities called, Local Government Aid" should be distributed.

Reporter: "So there will probably be some tweaks to this?"

Gov. Mar  Mark Dayton: "Oh, there will be some major changes. No doubt."

  Local Government Aid payments are distributed to Minnesota cities with the intent of making sure everyone can provide the same level of services, despite their population size.

  Governor Dayton's proposal to the legislature would increase the LGA fund for Minnesota cities by 80-milllion dollars to 506-million next year.

  It would mean a 14% hike for East Grand Forks' payment in 2014. But, over the coming years the Governor's formula would actually reduce the East Grand Forks payment by 32%. That's a one-million dollar a year decrease city officials say they can't live with.

Lynn Stauss, EGF Mayor: "We're concerned. Hopefully he'll tweak that a little bit so that the amount of money he's planning in his budget to take away… won't happen."

  The Governor told city officials, he's more than willing to come up with an LGA formula, that's fair for everyone.

Gov. Mark Dayton: "It could be the old one. It could be the new one, something in between. I think that's really something the legislature can work out to as much satisfaction as possible."

  State legislators say you can bet there will be much more debate on the subject, before any changes are made.

Reporter: "There's going to be a lot of talking about this yet?"

Sen. Leroy Stumpf: "Oh, definitely. I think you can bank on that."

  The Governor's current formula means different amounts of LGA payments for individual cities.

  Here's a link to a complete rundown of how the current proposal shakes out for Minnesota cities: http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/sites/tcdailyplanet.net/files/13/06/124033442-comparison-of-lga.pdf

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