Gov. Dayton delivers speech:
GOP Leaders react:
Minnesota is in the second state government shutdown in six years after Democratic Governor Mark Dayton failed to reach a budget deal with GOP legislative leaders. The major sticking point continues to be over taxes and spending and the best way to erase a $5 billion projected budget deficit.
Two hours before the midnight deadline, Governor Dayton said in a news conference that his latest offer included taxing only Minnesotans making a million dollars or more a year. He says that amounts to about 8 thousand Minnesotans.
Dayton criticized Republicans for not accepting any tax increases.
“Instead of taxing their friends,” Dayton said. “They would prefer very damaging cuts to health care, K-12 and higher education, state and local public safety, mass transit and other essential services to the people of Minnesota.”
Republicans countered that they had a bill to keep the state government running on a bare bones basis, but Dayton rejected it. They also said the two sides were closer to a deal than Dayton said.
Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers says Republicans won’t raise taxes because they are aiming to reign in government spending.
“This isn’t about getting a budget deal. This is about shutting down government in spite of hard work, in spite of compromise, in spite of actual agreement.”
The government shutdown will force thousands of layoffs in both the public and private sector. The state’s parks, the State Capitol and the Minnesota Zoo are just a few of the areas that are closed because of the shutdown.