Gov. Mark Dayton told a gathering of local government officials today that he’s never seen a legislative session that compares to this year.
Dayton spoke during the Joint Cities, School Districts, Counties, Townships Legislative Conference, where he described the spending reductions in Republican budget bills as extreme, drastic, cruel and Draconian. The DFL governor is particularly concerned about proposed cuts in aid to cities and counties, which he argues would drive up local property taxes.
“It’s sheer denial of reality that is exercised by some up at the Capitol,” Dayton said. “They’re not responsible for higher property taxes. If they eliminate local government aid and property taxes go up, that’s your fault. If they cut back on state aid for schools and property taxes go up, that’s your fault.”
Senate Tax Chair Julianne Ortman of Chanhassen said her bill provides cities and counties the same amount of state aid that they received in 2010. She argues that many cities have already planned to do without a projected increase.
Here’s Dayton speech:
Here’s a brief Q & A session:
Later in the day, Sen, Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, stopped by the press corps to respond to some of Dayton’s comments: