Sen. Mike Parry, R-Waseca, has taken a new line of criticism against Democratic Gov. Dayton as the budget impasse continues. Parry continued to say that Dayton will force a government shutdown in order to get his tax increase on Minnesota top earners. But Parry also says Dayton is reluctant to support the GOP budget plan because he fears it won’t have the impact he’s predicting.
“He’s afraid that if he goes along with the budgets that were produced that they’re going to work and they’re going to work well,” Parry told MPR news. “That’s what he’s afraid of. He’s afraid to say ‘By golly you did what you said you were going to do.”
Parry, chair of the Senate State Government Finance Committee, has been one of the more vocal critics of Dayton’s style and leadership. He has said Dayton is absent from negotiations and needs to take a more active role in budget negotiations.
Dayton, who is pushing for an income tax hike on top earners to help erase the state’s $5 billion projected budget deficit, has characterized the cuts in the GOP budget plan as “barbaric.” His spokesman, Bob Hume, took issue with Parry’s criticism.
“We don’t believe that denying 140,000 Minnesotans healthcare would ‘work well’, cutting services to seniors or double digit cuts to higher education would ‘work well’ or that raising property taxes would ‘work well” Hume said in an e-mail. “Those have been the choices of the legislative majorities – and it’s not a workable solution for Minnesotans. They’ve been very clear that they want a balanced solution and a budget compromise, and that’s what the Governor continues to focus on.”
Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are scheduled to meet tomorrow afternoon to discuss the budget.