DFL Governor Mark Dayton has vetoed the first bills sent to him this session, and he used the occasion to blast Republican legislative leaders.
Dayton rejected a group of GOP-backed bills that would have changed the rules for civil lawsuits. His veto letters described the bills as “legislative meddling.” During a news conference this morning, Dayton said it was difficult to take the bills seriously since Republicans ignored the recommendations of judicial leaders and never contacted him or his staff.
“Thus it is hard for me to believe that this rush it to pass it strategy had any expectation of creating laws. Instead it appears to be just another political by the Republican majorities, as they provide their special interest friends, the rich and the powerfull with more favoritism and favors at the expense of most other Minnesotans.”
Dayton also said the GOP claim that the measures would help grow jobs was “laughable.” He said the bills would have mostly benefited large insurance companies in other states.
Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, R-Rochester, said he was disappointed by the vetoes and the governor’s comments.
“Get off the rhetoric. It’s not productive,” Senjem said. “We can do better than this, and we will do better than this. But the name calling is I think is not productive to the effort and is not going to help as we move through this session.”
Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers said Dayton owes an apology and an explanation to the Minnesota businesses that asked for the civil lawsuit changes.