GOP legislative leaders rule out mediator

GOP legislative leaders say they are ruling out Gov. Mark Dayton’s suggestion that they bring in an outside mediator to help bridge the divide on the state’s budget.

Dayton made the proposal earlier today. GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers says Dayton and lawmakers were “elected to lead.”

Dayton and lawmakers are at odds over the best way to craft a two year budget that erases a $5 billion budget deficit. Dayton wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota’s top earners to erase part of the deficit. GOP legislative leaders say they can erase the budget deficit through spending cuts.

Dayton says he’s waiting for Republicans to make a counter proposal to his plan to raise $1.8 billion in taxes. Republicans say they want Dayton to provide greater specifics on where he would make $1.8 billion in spending reductions.

Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are scheduled to meet privately tomorrow at 9 a.m. GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch wouldn’t say if they will make a budget offer to Dayton at tomorrow’s meeting.

GOP Leaders take questions from reporters:

  • danno

    Okay, how about this. Every legislator stands for re-election right now. Any repugs willing to try this. We can have a special session just to pass one time enabling legislation for this election–to be held within a very short time. Guess who will survive.

  • Larry M.

    63% of Minnesotans prefer Governor Dayton’s plan to raise taxes on the top 2%. This move will take the republicans further out of the mainstream of Minnesotan thought. I think the republicans are going to get slaughtered in the next election even with their attempt to use bigotry as a political instrument by putting gay marriage on the ballot.