No tax increases — income, sales or gas tax — Senate Republicans are repeating as they roll out their top priorities for the legislative session. Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says tax hikes are not necessary to plug an expected budget shortfall:

“We can reduce spending — it doesn’t have to be much — and we can use the Rainy Day Funds…. Between those two things we can easily balance the budget.”

Democrats, who control the Minnesota House, respond new investments are essential to jump-start a Minnesota economy that’s hurting from COVID. They say upper-income groups haven’t been paying their fair share. Republicans warn such a move will hurt job growth.