Dayton calls GOP leaders back to bargaining table to end shutdown

Gov. Dayton’s opening comments:

GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch’s opening comments:

Governor Mark Dayton is calling Republican legislative leaders back to the bargaining table today with the hopes of ending the state government shutdown. It’s the eleventh day of the shutdown and the two sides still appear to be far apart on a budget deal. Dayton says he sent a letter to GOP leaders telling them that he was open to discussing several revenue options including an income tax on top earners, tax hikes on cigarettes and alcohol, eliminating sales tax breaks and expanding the sales tax while lower the rate. Dayton says his income tax proposal, like President Obama’s, is a very selective tax increase.

“It’s only on the very wealthiest individuals,” Dayton said. “It’s only on corporations that aren’t paying their fair share. It’s not on all small businesses. It’s not on all taxpayers. But they hide behind the same fiction that it’s an overall tax increase, and they’re intransigent about moving beyond it.”

Republicans oppose raising any taxes to erase the state’s $5 billion projected budget deficit. Dayton says he hasn’t spoken to the Speaker of the Minnesota House or the Senate Majority Leader since last Thursday. GOP legisatlive leaders have not made a budget offer to Dayton since the shutdown began on July first. The sides are $1.4 billion apart on a budget deal.

Dayton says he intends to travel to St. Cloud on Tuesday, southern Minnesota on Wednesday and Moorhead on Friday to campaign for his proposal. He also released a video on YouTube explaining his position on budget talks.

Update:

GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says she’s disappointed with Dayton’s letter.

“The governor continues to believe that the discussion needs to be about where the revenue comes from and how much,” Koch said. “There’s no compromise in the area that we’re concerned about – reining in spending and reforming the way we are spending.”

Republicans renewed their request that Dayton call a special session, which would allow them to begin working on some spending bills and passing a stopgap “lights on” bill to reopen government while broader negotiations continue.

Here’s Dayton’s letter to GOP leaders:

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  • Albatross

    This shows you what happens when you threaten to tax the super-wealthy at the same rate as the rest of us. They have their bought-and-paid-for goons shut down the government.

  • Chris Conner

    The GOP budget is clearly a great middle of the road compromise between the Carlson/Mondale plan and the Dayton plan.

    The answer to Dayton’s letter is that the GOP budget that sat on his desk for 5 months, with no input from Dayton and a refusal to empower commissioners to actually negotiate until three days or so before a shutdown, is the best and final offer.

    Dayton’s constitutional responsibility is to ensure a balanced budget- which he has on his desk- hence the Governor’s line item veto power provisions in state law. Dayton is over-reaching, violating the separation of powers, holding the state hostage to force unsustainable appropriations in excess of the largest budget in state history.

    Dayton’s personal record so far: 22,000 unemployed, a downgrade in credit rating, weeks lost in repairing our infrastructure, School districts having to borrow even more money to operate summer school, and 23 million a week in revenue losses. All in the name of radical and partisan ideological thinking that is located in the same region of the brain as over-zealous religious belief.

  • T

    The Dayton budget is clearly a great middle of the road compromise between the Carlson/Mondale plan and the GOP plan.

    Dayton’s constitutional responsibility is to ensure a FAIR and balanced budget (that’s NOT what hit his desk at ANY time so far).

    GOPs record so far: 22,000 unemployed, a downgrade in credit rating, weeks lost in repairing our infrastructure, School districts having to borrow even more money to operate summer school, and 23 million a week in revenue losses. All in the name of radical and partisan ideological thinking that is located in the same region of the brain as over-zealous religious belief.

    I’ll only send my response once Chris.

  • Lee

    Well, Amy Koch might not have gotten the letter yet…She was to busy today having lunch at the Mpls Club…I guess when your in shutdown mode there is time for things like luncheons.

  • Tired of the goons

    Is there anything we can do to take back our government from these goons? This is a pure political game at this point and both sides are responsible for inflicting extreme harm on MN’s economy. I’ve seriously considered holding a rally to push the message from one of MPR’s shows a couple weeks ago: four of the top 4 economists in MN said that the difference between the GOP budget and Dayton’s is so small that ACCEPTING EITHER BUDGET AS-IS WILL MAKE NO DIFFERENCE TO MINNESOTA’S ECONOMY.

    Hear that? No difference!!! So why the heck are we doing this?! Oh yes, because both sides want to make a political point. People are hurting so they can play politics. Pure and simple. Screw this. Let’s start talking about how we can take our state back. We elected them, but we didn’t elect them to do this. If they don’t do their jobs, I say we take those jobs away from them.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    @Chris Conner, I’m guessing you posted twice because your comments are so absurd you knew nobody would buy them the first time.

    The only part of the GOP budget that sat on the Governor’s desk for five months was the word “No.” The GOP tossed the rest of their mess on the Governor’s desk just hours before the legislative session ended, leaving no time for negotiation and rewrite.

    By sending the Governor a budget they knew he would veto, and by leaving literally no time for revision before session end, the Republican Legislature, all by itself, guaranteed a government shutdown. Based on the GOP unwillingness to compromise throughout the session, it’s impossible to believe this was not the GOP Plan all along.

    To attempt to assign blame to the Governor, or anyone else, for this Republican Power Play, is specious at best. I’d say, “Nice try,” Chris, but your post doesn’t even rise to that level.

  • Jamie

    Thank you, Ralph! Chris Connor must have gone to the same trainings that other Republicans go to where they learn that characterizing or accusing their opponents of what Republicans actually are or do is a good strategy. Thus, the “…All in the name of radical and partisan ideological thinking, blah blah…” bull. S/he’s describing Republicans to a “T.”

    Reliable polls have shown that a majority of Minnesotans support raising taxes on the wealthy; most of us believe it’s the right thing to do. Most economists say that we need both cuts and added revenue, and so do even some Republican former state constitutional office holders. History and logic show us that raising taxes on the wealthy does not curb job growth, and that, conversely, tax CUTS for the wealthy do not cause jobs to be created. Logic, reason, history, and morality are all on the side of raising revenue by making the rich pay their fair share.