Let’s review what Republicans are so happy about:
• Total state spending would rise to $6.33 billion, a 10.1 percent increase over two years.
• $2.47 billion in state general fund spending over two years, an increase of $478.9 million.
• The current state budget is forecast to have a surplus of $539.8 million, including a $99.5 million ‘‘rainy day’’ fund and $128.3 million in an oil tax trust fund. Hoeven’s proposed 2007-09 budget has a cushion of $412.7 million. It increases the rainy-day fund to $200 million, and estimates that $178.6 million will be left in the oil tax trust fund.
• Property tax reductions financed by $116.7 million in oil tax collections.
• An increase of $80.5 million in spending for education.
• North Dakota’s university system would get an $83 million increase.
I have no problem with the education increases, but the overall increases are obscene. As is sitting on $400 million.