Dayton criticizes Kelliher on session

Democrat Mark Dayton is none too pleased with the outcome of the legislative session, and he’s putting part of the blame on his DFL rival for governor. In an interview, Dayton said several national news outlets and the Rochester Post-Bulletin all suggested the legislative session was a complete victory for Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty. He said he isn’t pleased with the result negotiated between Pawlenty, DFL Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller and House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the DFL endorsed candidate for governor,

“I don’t see it that way. It was a terrible session for the people of Minnesota,” Dayton said. “It was a terrible session for the school districts that lost $2 billion through a shift which will mean higher borrowing and fewer teachers and overcrowded classrooms and more school districts being forced to four day school weeks and more kids receiving an inferior education and $100 million in funding cuts for higher education which means higher tuition and more professors laid off. I don’t see this as a victory that Gov. Pawlenty and the Speaker are claiming.”

Kelliher’s campaign sent an e-mail to supporters today saying she worked to protect funding for key programs.

In the face of Republican obstructionism, we worked tirelessly to protect Minnesota’s most important priorities. We fought to bring 1.4 billion dollars of federal healthcare funding to Minnesota. This funding would save or create 22,000 healthcare jobs, provide healthcare for 102,000 people and fairly reimburse our rural hospitals. For every $1 of state money, we can get $7 back in federal healthcare dollars. It is just common sense.

For 8 years we’ve had a governor who has put his right wing agenda over Minnesota’s most important priorities. This year was no different.