Dayton and GOP leaders react to shutdown

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.

  • Gabrielle Bliss

    Thank you Governor Dayton for not caving in to republican extremist policies. Of course you cannot balance a huge deficit by only cutting spending. You have met them half way. Now we wait. I hope they wake up soon.

  • Ed Solheim

    The Republicans will surely take the blame for this one. What kind of childish stunt is this. Putting all of Minnesota through this job killing fiasco to protect a couple of their friends from paying a couple bucks to keep Minnesota going is shameful.

  • danno

    I am one of the tens of thousands benefitting from the Republican jobs program–I am laid off. I would rather be laid off than accept the Republican budget. The very basic fact they overlook is that taxes are how government is financed. To pick a number without knowing how much is needed does not show a high level of reasoning ability. The time to reform spending is after the budget is passed. You can’t reform spending just by spending less, you have to plan to spend less on specific costs. But taxing 8000 superrich Minnesotans is apparently too rough on Grovers friends.

  • William Malecha

    I am one of Minnesota’s disabled residents and I would just like to say how proud I am of Gov. Mark Dayton for not giving into the Republicans extremist Social Darwinism.

    What’s ironic about this is that the wealthy Minnesotans are fine to pay higher taxes, the Republicans just don’t want to be taxed and give back to the State.

    At least if I were wealthy I would not mind at all being taxed more, then again I’m a very generous person.

    It’s going to be rough for me with the Government Shutdown though I’ll take ‘rough’ over ‘cut’ any day.

  • Alli Vainshtein

    Thank you, Governor Dayton.

    I have been laid off for two years, working as a part time faculty, and I think the Republicans have a lot to answer for here. It is not fair that so many people are without work, underpaid, unemployed, and the rich are not being properly taxed. Someone has to stand up for the people, someone has to do what is right. Be strong. We are behind you all the way.

  • James

    The Republicans won’t tax the top 1%, but they are getting ready to tax every last one of us to pay for Zyggi Wilf’s stadium. They have no credit whatsoever with me.

  • Josh D.

    Kurt Zellers in his speech goes on and on about debt that the future generations can’t afford, which government budget is he talking about? The Minnesota government is mandated to be balanced, as in no deficit; no debt (bonding aside, ect.). Maybe some folks are a little to wrapped up with federal politics to stay focused on the matter at hand. I find the same situation watching local city councils too, so focused on trying to make the hard cuts, where in fact some of them had a balanced budget even with the cuts to LGA. If your trying to make cuts just for cuts sake, you cut real services. Everyday I feel surrounded by people who want more services and less taxes. They need to start seeing the real honest connection here between services they demand, and the cost.

  • danno

    These are the legislators who signed away part of their governing authority to a private company (Taxpayers League). The list and the pledge are at the Minnesota Taxpayers League website. The website does not reveal the amount of money (and there was money) paid for each signature. If selling part of your governing power is not a crime, it should be. State senator, Benson, Brown, Chamberlain, Gazelka, Gerlach, Hall, Hann, Hoffman, Jungbauer, Nienow, Parry and Vandeveer. State Representatives. Anderson, Banaian, Barrett, Benson, Buesgens, Daudt, Dettmer, Drazkowski, Erickson, Gottwalt, Gruenhagen, Gunther, Kieffer, Kiffmeyer, LeMieur, Lohmer, McElfatrick, Petersen, Quam, Runbeck, Scott, Swedzinski, Vogel, Wardlow. If there are multiple legislators with the same last name; it might help to know that these are all Republicans. If that doesn’t do it, see the list. Did you really intend to vote for such lame ducks. These non-representatives are the reason for the shutdown. Applause.

  • Jon Lund

    What a great day to be a Republican. Finally – we’ve shut the beast down. We did this: we got the frightened and angry and ignorant electorate to vote against their own best interests and elect non-compromising and unimaginative right wing Republicans to the legislature and then stopped the government – who needs it anyway. Anyone? Anyone? The way I figure…we will cost the state even more money and eventually, because there will be no more revenue to be had, we could very well end government once and for all. Perfect. God bless our straight, gun toting, god fearing, small minded, English only speaking citizens! We win!

  • Matt Ruthenbeck

    What Mark Dayton wanted in the beginning was just as good even with his own Compromise is as well, nothing about the Rep’s want instead and wont even compromise on themselves, its ridiculous, So Good Job Mark Dayton..!!

  • Ralph Crammedin

    Minnesota Republicans complete a perfect legislative term of 6 months and 0 compromises.

  • Thomas Heinitz

    Well said Josh D. Too many ignorant voters (that’s you who voted for the rigid, uncompromising freshman Rebuplicans) do not see the correlation with the services they demand and paying for them (read: taxes). “small gov’t” and lame slogans about spending cuts are nice sound bites and fit nicely on your bumper sticker but these are real cuts to real programs affecting real people. Good job Gov Dayton!

  • Melina S.

    I am sad that we had a shut down. This has a horrible impact on many of the disadvantaged. However these same programs that we are upset are closed during the shut down are the same programs that the Republicans want to cut. We do need to come up with a balanced budget, and some programs will be cut. However unless we raise some taxes to balance the budget many of the programs now closed for the shut down will stay closed with the Republican budget.

  • Tracy M

    What an embarassment! I want to know where the leadership is among our TWO parties who cannot do what the rest of us are expected to do everyday…negotiate between neighbors over such issues as mowing boundaries, hash over pay raises with our employers, solve family and marriage arguments etc. I know a couple of accountants who could solve this matter quite quickly.

  • Jody

    Dear MPR and Tom Scheck,

    Please be careful with your language. “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 failure here is shared not Gov Dayton’s alone as this sentence reads.

  • Dave

    As a citizen of MN, I am extremely disappointed that no budget deal was achieved. We have had the media exchanges about who was elected to do what…but that message no longer resonates. Several polls have been released in the last 60 days that show Minnesotans want a budget compromise. Now that government is shut down – all legislators should be without their paychecks/per diems/etc. for the shut down time period. Further, we as citizens should no longer allow them to hold town halls to promote their view points. They should be put back to work to reach a deal and get Minnesota moving again.

    We have heard for months from one party that the government needs to live within its means, modernize, and run more efficient. I would conclude that a shutdown does not meet any of those objectives.

    Is it possible to have our government leaders considered non-essential workers???

  • Dave

    As a citizen of MN, I am extremely disappointed that no budget deal was achieved. We have had the media exchanges about who was elected to do what…but that message no longer resonates. Several polls have been released in the last 60 days that show Minnesotans want a budget compromise. Now that government is shut down – all legislators should be without their paychecks/per diems/etc. for the shut down time period. Further, we as citizens should no longer allow leaders to hold town halls to promote their view points. They should be put back to work to reach a deal and get Minnesota moving again.

    We have heard for months from one party that the government needs to live within its means, modernize, and run more efficient. I would conclude that a shutdown does not meet any of those objectives.

    Is it possible to have our government leaders considered non-essential workers???

  • Dave

    As a citizen of MN, I am extremely disappointed that no budget deal was achieved. We have had the media exchanges about who was elected to do what…but that message no longer resonates. Several polls have been released in the last 60 days that show Minnesotans want a budget compromise. Now that government is shut down – all legislators should be without their paychecks/per diems/etc. for the shut down time period. Further, we as citizens should no longer allow leaders to hold town halls to promote their view points. They should be put back to work to reach a deal and get Minnesota moving again.

    We have heard for months from one party that the government needs to live within its means, modernize, and run more efficiently. I would conclude that a shutdown does not meet any of those objectives.

    Is it possible to have our government leaders considered non-essential workers???

  • Jared

    Blame for this fiasco does not reside with any one person, nor the legislature and its population of ideologues. Only one group can be blamed today, and that is us, the schizophrenic voting public.

    We swayed violently with the political current of the nation, and decided to deliver the same insanity that impacts the national level onto our local government.

    Sadly, too many will cheer this impasse, and those who are most vulnerable will suffer because we as a people of this state cannot see passed our own political short-sightedness

  • Cindie

    I am with you Mark Dayton!!!!!

  • KD

    It is unbelieveable that we are that the point where shutting down the State of MN is the outcome of the Legislature and Governor being unable to negotiate and compromise. Both were elected by the people to do the business of the people. Instead, the focus is on the business of the Republican and Democratic parties.

    It took years for the state budget to reach this point. It can not be solved in one budget cycle. The economic and emotional toll of this shutdown will be felt by each and every resident of the state for years to come.

    Right now, the people most significantly impacted by this situation are the State employees and their families. When did we reach the point in society where laying off 22,000 people is acceptable? If this were a private sector company, they would expect a government bailout. Oh wait, this is the government. Yet, the State of MN bailed out Northwest Airlines. The Federal government assisted the financial services companies. Where are our Legislators? Our Governor?

    Do the job you were elected to do. Negotiate, compromise and turn the government back on – for the good of the people who elected you.

    Unbelieveable!

  • Bill

    I am happy that Mr. Dayton held his ground and continues to keep the state interest before personal interest. I am excited that the republican leadership has insured we will put an end to this mindless political agenda by ending their political career and sending a message of what our elected officals should be doing. Thanks for showing how to make a mess of government.

  • KD

    Throughout the budget negotiations, I have written my Legislators to express my concerns and raise my questions. Initially, I received a brief, non-personalized response from both. And, one missed phone call from my Senator in response to my second note.

    As a Republican, I actually voted for both my Representative and Senator. Earlier this week, I wrote both for the fourth time. Again, no response. Elected by the people, to do the business of the people. Did they even read my concerns?

    I’m looking forward to hearing from my Representative who was quoted in the Pioneer Press this morning as inciation the next step is “an explanation” to the voters in their districts as to why they held firm on their budget principles.

    Representative Dean…

  • Tom

    I wish we could FIRE them all today and get new, responsible, adult, rational legislators to do the job. To claim that the Republican leadership is responsible is just silly. They obviously care far more about their knee jerk ideology than about real people leading real lives. Get rid of them.

  • Kris

    I agree with Gov Dayton’s premise that the wealthiest should help more with the payment of taxes. Wealthy citizens need to use roads, allow their children to go to school, and – heaven forbid – may need services provided by local governments at some time should they lose their jobs or means of wealth, or have a crime committed against them. They should pay for these services as do all other residents of MN.

    However, I feel that a mediator is imperative to solve the budget impasse. If Republicans and Democrats cannot agree on a budget, a third party MUST make them choose which items they will agree to. Our State cannot afford for this shutdown to continue.

  • Robin Geiger

    Let us be clear on this one point.

    This shutdown is NOT due to failure on the Governor ‘s part…this shutdown rests squarely on the shoulders of the GOP Legislators. They failed the State of Minnesota.

    They will get their layoff notices come re-election time…they can be sure of that!

  • Ron

    It is so apparent that the one thing this shut down has done–it’s given all the tax and spend moochers time off to vent their anger via their private public station. Unbiased reporting – puh-leeze

  • Mark

    If it would help the State of Minnesota, my partner and I would be more than willing to pay more for a marriage license. We can call it a gay marriage surcharge. What a funny thought. Gay couples coming to the rescue of the GOP. This is especially funny since they spent too much time in the month of May deciding on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage than working on the budget. Lets be honest. The budget bill should have been sent to the Governor by the end of April which gives you the month of May to negotiate. We all know that for relationships and government to work, all parties need to compromise.

    I miss the Minnesota that I moved to in 1992. People worked together to get things done. Those days are long gone. Now people rate their success by how many people they caused to fail.

  • Cynthia

    Somewhere along my educational journey, I learned that my success in life was due to the sacrifices made BY others and that someday I would have to pay things forward FOR others. Shame on the majority party for only caring about the wealthiest Minnesotans. Sadly, many of them already pay a little extra through their benevolence. The selfish ones need to have government intervention to help them do the right thing….just like laws help to keep order. To whom much is given, much is expected. Keep the faith, governor. Hold tight!