DFL Gov. Mark Dayton says he doesn’t want to see a state government shutdown on July 1, but he’s still unwilling to accept a Republican budget that makes deep spending cuts.
In advance of a scheduled meeting with GOP legislative leaders, Dayton held a news conference today to highlight what he sees as the consequences of their proposed cuts. His list included college tuition hikes, local property tax increases and reductions in subsidized health care. Dayton said Republicans’ continued opposition to tax increases or spending beyond $34 billion is “not responsible.”
“We could negotiate this within a day,” Dayton said. “But what’s stopping it is their insistence that it be $34 billion, not a penny more. Everything else just gets thrown under the bus, including the lives of Minnesotans.”
Senate Deputy Majority Leader Geoff Michel, R-Edina, said he thinks Dayton is feeling public pressure about the looming shutdown. Michel said he’s convinced the public doesn’t want any more spending.
Here’s Michel’s opening comments (Note: a protester with The Welfare Rights Committee interrupted the event):