Dayton suggests delaying budget (follows up that’s he’s joking)

Gov. Dayton caused a bit of head scratching at the Capitol today when he wrote on his Facebook page that he could delay his budget proposal if he hasn’t fully recovered from his back surgery.

“…it goes well, I’ll be “back” on a public schedule, starting Tuesday, January 22nd, when I’ll present my proposed budget for the next biennium, as required by state law. If not, I’ll invoke the obscure clause in the Minnesota Constitution, which allows me a one-time, two-month extension.”

The post had Capitol reporters rereading the state constitution trying to find what authority Dayton has to delay his budget plan. Dayton’s spokeswoman responded to initial questions about the post with the vague answer of “keep looking.” One reporter actually wrote a story saying Dayton could delay the budget plan.

Dayton later posted that he was joking about the delay.

“My previous post was serious about my recovery, and trying to be humorous about delaying my budget proposal. There is no postponement being sought. I just wanted to see if anyone reads this stuff!”

The only specific thing Dayton has said about his budget plan is that he intends to raise income taxes on top earners to erase at least part of the state’s $1.1 billion projected budget deficit.