No budget talks, just finger pointing

Republican legislative leaders say that they’re the ones who’ve compromised on the budget and DFL Governor Mark Dayton has not.

With 10 days until a potential state government shutdown, GOP leaders held a news conference today to call on Dayton to resume negotiations with a new, substantial budget offer. House and Senate leaders argue that Dayton’s most recent offer, which reduced his proposed tax increase on top earners by half, did not include sufficient details. Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina said he thinks Dayton is sprinting toward a shutdown.

“July 1 doesn’t look like it’s an important deadline to Gov. Dayton,” Michel said. “July 1 does not look like it’s an important deadline. It’s an important deadline to us. We do not believe in a shutdown, We’re not using some kind of raw political power move to shut down the government. That’s on him.”

Last week, Dayton described the latest GOP budget offer as “extremely disappointing,” because it didn’t budge from $34 billion in spending for the next two years.


Gov. Dayton Gov. Dayton’s press secretary Katharine Tinucci reposnded to the Republican news conference by issuing a news release:

“Today, the Republican legislative majorities showed themselves to be completely out of touch with reality. Everyone knows that over a month ago, the Governor offered to compromise and to meet the GOP half-way between their two budgets. Everyone knows that it’s the Republicans, who have refused to budge from their position. Everyone knows that it was the Governor who proposed a mediator to facilitate serious compromise, and that the Republican leaders refused.

Their unwillingness to compromise is a source of increasing frustration for us, and for every Minnesotan who will hurt under their all-cuts budget.

Today the Regents at the University of Minnesota are voting on a budget, which will increase tuitions by hundreds of dollars per student, as a direct result of the legislature’s 19% cut to the U. That’s real money out of the pockets of young Minnesotans and their families – Minnesotans who wouldn’t pay a dime of new income taxes under the Governor’s plan. It’s an example of what is at stake in these budget negotiations.

It is the Governor’s hope that Republican legislative leaders will listen to their constituents and finally offer a fair and balanced compromise proposal.”

Dayton also sent this letter to GOP legislative leaders today:

6-20-11letter to Koch Zellers

  • Jason

    I would be curious if MPR or the media were to bring in an outside expert or experts in negotiations, someone who’s nonpartisan, objective, has experience in mediation and some understanding of the nuances of state government. Narrow down and focus on what the most important issue is preventing an agreement…then compare the proposals from Governor Dayton and the GOP, and provide some analysis of who is actually making significant proposals. I believe the public needs more focus on which side is making “significant” compromise in their proposals.

  • Kate

    Maybe if they hadn’t wasted so much time on the gay marriage issue, they would have found the time to put their heads together and solve the budget problem, which let’s all remember THEY created in the first place.

    If they fail to come to terms and 36,000 people have to their jobs because as a result, then every single elected official in this state should lose their tax-payer-provided income too.

  • Jon

    Kate, The legislature is already getting paided “OT” for being in a Special session… Why would they want a deal (which would be in the best interest of the state) when they keep making money for doing nothing all of June…

  • Jacqueline

    I don’t understand why the republicans are refusing to meet with the governor! With a mediator present all discussions will be heard, and each side will have to compromise.

  • Lisa

    The people who work hard and drive this economy and create jobs should not have to pay for the college tuition of people who do not work as hard and are not as ambitious. They pay for the tuition of their own kids, plus everyone elses kids through taxation. The less ambitious people have figured out that they can get a free ride by being lazy. The hard working Americans are realizing that the harder they work, the more they are fiscally punished.

    If more people had pride in their country and themselves and respect for individual accomplishment we would not be in having this dilemma. It is hard to understand how so many people feel entitled to receive something for nothing at the expense of people who work hard and strive to be successful, drive the economy, and strengthen the private sector.

    Our state and our country are both running out of control at the hands of the fiscally irresponsible Liberals. I fear that this is the beginning of the end of our great nation. By allowing big government and runaway spending we are destroying our freedom – happily and willingly fastening the shackles to our own ankles.

    We need to stop thinking about “what’s in it for me” and look at the greater picture. Our country is going bankrupt. When is it ever okay to discourage hard work and ambition and encourage laziness? Is this the kind of country we want for our children?

    Governor Dayton needs to follow the advice of the GOP. Balance the budget and make firm plans to reverse the fiscal damage that has been done. The Liberals are leading us down a destructive path and the people of this country have the power to change that path. Tell Governor Dayton that we will not accept his fiscally irresponsible budget plan, and in the future elect Conservatives to office who will get this country back on track.

  • Sue


    Do you really believe that people purposefully are lazy and non-ambitious so that the state or the nation will pay for college tuition for their kids???? For most people who recieve state services, the question is not college, but BREAKFAST! Kids need a roof over their heads and food, along with all the nurturing and love that a parent can provide. A single mom with kids who works VERY hard for $12 per hour cannot provide food, clothing, and shelter for her kids on that money, much less pay for child care and transportation to and from her job. She certainly can’t be addressing her ambitions and paying to put herself through school to better her and her kids lives! Ridiculous!

  • TickDad

    Thank you Sue for your response to Lisa’s comments.

    Lisa you appear to have had a very narrow upbringing but were well indoctrinated in limited thinking. It is unfortunate that that you make such generalizations to cover “types” of people. This mode of thinking has lead to the gridlock we have been experiencing on a national and state level. Perhaps you could share what analysis or information you are relying upon for your comments.

    I have asked my Eagan Republican State Senator and Representative to provide what analysis they had done or were relying upon when they concluded we did not need a balanced approach. (Probably not the exact wording.) After numerous tries over the past few weeks, including sending a self addressed stamped envelope, I have not received answers to my questions. They appear to prefer to remain in a limited mode of thinking. How unfortunate. They might convince me they are right, but they have chosen to ignore the request.

  • Theresa

    Let’s talk about where this fiscally out of control government spending happened. We had 8 years of a republican led government and these fiscal issues were brewing then.

    Instead of our Republican president addressing the issues that were evolving, he led us right into the position we are today – conservative fiscally irresponsible movement passed on to the next government body.

    When you have an educated group of people, they have the ability to earn a living to meet basic needs and become a contributing tax payers back to the state and federal government. Lisa you appear to have come from a priviledged background and you had your education paid for.

    Have you looked at the cost of an education today? Were you lucky enough to have your parents pay for your education? And what did it cost at that time? Are you repaying student loans? Think about what I noted earlier, an educated workforce has the opportunity to earn a higher wage and therefore have the ability to contribute more to the tax base.

    Have you looked at the Federal Government spending charts? Do you know where the majority of the funds are allocated? It certainly isn’t on the Health and Welfare or it’s citizens or the education of the citizens.

    How much does the government spend on war? How much does the government spend on pensions? How much does the government spend on themselves? Do you think our current legislative body is working for free?

    Have you looked at the State spending pie chart? Do you see the importance of where the money goes? How old are you? Would that change how you view the world? If you had a minimal earning power (or earning power of another you maybe supported by) how would you view spending and support.

    Lisa, how exactly do you define ambitious, hard working? Are you out working in a manufacturing plan, earning enough money to put on the table to feed your family and have nothing left over? Remember we have a $7.25 minimum wage. Sometimes our small employers can only pay that.

    Tickdad I too have asked for information and at a minimum a response that my messages have been received. NOTHING! I guess that tells me the importance of the constituents of this fine state representation.