DFL48 | Restoring Common Sense Minnesota Values



After more than $1.5 billion in cuts and borrowing from education, Jeff Johnson blurring the lines around all-day kindergarten

Jeff Johnson, MPR Capitol View

Jeff Johnson, MPR Capitol View

Jeff Johnson’s history of slashing funding for education isn’t helping him navigate the issue of all-day kindergarten—which his record indicates he doesn’t support, but he won’t say he opposes.

He told the Star Tribune that he’s “not necessarily opposed to all-day kindergarten” [Star Tribune, 8/31/2014] and Northland News that, “I’m not going to try to roll that back.”[Northland News, 8/30/2014]

However, the revenue that pays for all-day Kindergarten is the same revenue Johnson wants to give to the rich in tax breaks. When asked if he would repeal tax increases on the wealthiest Minnesotans that paid for all-day Kindergarten, per pupil funding increases for every school district in the state and tuition freezes in our colleges and universities, Jeff Johnson said, “absolutely.”

Without this funding, all-day kindergarten wouldn’t be possible, which raises the question whether if Johnson had been Governor, would he have signed all-day kindergarten into law?

When confronted with the choice between education and protecting the rich Jeff Johnson’s record is clear. He has consistently voted for cuts and shifts to education funding and to protect the wealthy and corporations.

All-day kindergarten will save families $2,500 a year and give more Minnesota kids the jumpstart they need to ensure strong academic success.

Jeff Johnson’s record on education

From 2001-2006 Jeff Johnson voted for $621 million in cuts to education and to borrow nearly $1.1 billion from our schools.

  • Early childhood education: Jeff Johnson voted to cut $21 million from early childhood education as a legislator in 2002. As a Hennepin County Commissioner, he voted against adding support of early childhood education funding for low-income families to the county’s 2013 legislative platform.
  • K-12 education: In 2003 alone, Jeff Johnson voted for $185 million in permanent education cuts and $436.8 in school shifts. In 2002 he voted for a bill that cut K-12 education by $15 million. During his time in the legislature, Johnson voted for 3 school shifts (2002,2003, 2005) totaling over $1 billion ($874.3 million of that was signed into law).
  • Higher education: In 2003, Jeff Johnson voted to cut higher education by a total of $350 million, cutting Minnesota public colleges and universities by 15 percent. The next year, tuition at the University of Minnesota increased by 14 percent. Johnson also voted for a bill in 2002 that cut higher Education funding by $50 million.

 Jeff Johnson’s record on tax cuts for the rich and corporations

From 2001-2006 Johnson has voted multiple times to cut taxes for the rich and corporations, while during this time period Minnesota schools saw repeated cuts and borrowing.

  • Tax cuts for the rich: Johnson was the chief author of a bill to create an income tax subtraction for 50 percent of net capital gains. HF10 as introduced would have created an income subtraction of 50 percent of net capital gains. [House Research, 03/12/01]
  • Tax cuts for corporations: In 2001 Johnson voted for a bill that repealed the corporate income tax on insurance companies. In 2005 he voted against a bill that would have repealed the foreign royalty subtraction and generated $120M in new revenue and against a bill that would have closed corporate tax loopholes.

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