Dayton says he’ll accept K12 shift and tobacco borrowing

Governor Mark Dayton said today that he’ll agree to an offer submitted by Republicans on June 30. The plan would extend the K12 school shift by $700 million and borrows $700 million against future tobacco borrowing.

“I am willing to agree to something that I don’t agree with,” Dayton said.

There are some conditions. Among other things, he wants the GOP to drop all policy language in their bills, their proposed 15 percent across the board cut in the public employee cut workforce and he wants a bonding bill.

Dayton made the announcement Thursday to a group of public policy fellows at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Dayton said he can’t say whether the offer is still on the table.

“As far as I’m concerned it’s still on the table. If it’s not, I’ll put it on there right now.”

Dayton spent a large part of the week touting this budget plan. He discussed special education in St. Cloud, health care in Rochester and economic development in Albert Lea.

His PR blitz is meant to show that the state needs more revenue to plug the state’s budget gap. He argues the GOP based budget would have dramatic problems for programs and services across Minnesota. Before the speech at the U of M started, Dayton’s aides handed out literature that pointed out that many states have raised taxes and cut programs since 2003. The move appears to be a move to show that Republicans are unwilling to move on new revenue and will own the budget plan they’ve proposed.

Dayton is at odds with the GOP controlled Legislature over the best way to erase the state’s $5 billion projected budget deficit. Dayton has said he prefers to raise the income tax on Minnesotans who earn $1 million or more a year but is open to other options like raising taxes on cigarettes or alcohol.

Republican leaders have not made a new budget offer since the state shutdown started on July 1. GOP legislative leaders have argued that they can erase the state’s budget deficit through spending cuts. Several rank and file members are starting to break from that position, arguing that more revenue is needed to end the shutdown. It’s the 14th day of the shutdown and Dayton and GOP leaders have no meetings scheduled. It’s been one week since the two sides have held face to face talks.

Dayton and GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers will be face to face tonight. The two will appear live on KARE11 at 10pm to take questions on the budget and the state government shutdown.

Update: Republicans aren’t saying whether they’ll accept the offer.

“Senate leadership is reviewing the offer,” Senate GOP spokesman Michael Brodkorb said via e-mail. “No further comment.

Here’s the first part of his speech:

Here’s Dayton’s letter:

GMD 7.14.11 Letter to Speaker and Majority Leader

  • Rich

    I see that Mr. Dayton just validated my vote for Tom Horner.

    More shifts and more borrowing. And I thought the policies of borrow and spend that Mr. Pawlenty used had left us. Not a lot of bandwidth between the DFL Governor’s proposal and the failed policies of Pawlenty that got us to where we are today.

    Courage and leadership where have you gone?

  • Disco


    Dayton is trying to negotiate with terrorists that want to kill the hostage anyway. He had very little choice.

  • RepugFailedPolicies

    Middle class loses, children lose, seniors lose, healthcare loses, workers lose, even the wealthy lose, because without a robust middle class to buy the goods, they lose too. State Loses big!

    Mississippi here we come. We will be just like that loser state with high unemployment, highest poverty levels, least educated, and lowest quality of life! We can be one of the 10 worst states, which are all RED states. Get on board for being a loser state when you elect thugs.

  • Craig Huber

    $20 says the Republicans reject the proposal, to look “strong”. Give you odds… not sure what excuse they’ll come up with, but I’ll bet there is one.

  • Rich


    “This ain’t no disco this ain’t no party this ain’t no fooling around”

    Trying to put lipstick on a pig?

    Same old same, old same old. If I wanted Pawlenty 2.0 I would have wrote him in on the ballot.

  • RepugFailedPolicies

    @Rich, If you voted for Tom Horner you have no credibiltiy. He was a hate-mongering republican. I don’t track governors, but no president has ever built deficits more than republicans. They are wild spenders loose with the paycheck and take no accountability or responsibility.

    They are the most unfiscally conservative and unresponsibile party.

  • RepugFailedPolicies

    @ Craig Huber

    Wouldn’t touch that bet, but if you get any action, I want in.

    Hey, mabye, that’s exactly what the Gov wants to make them look like total jerks.

  • Disco


    Thank you for calling out the smugness of the third-party vanity voters.

    This situation would only be worse had Horner (or god forbid, Emmer) been elected.

  • Jamie

    I am so incredibly disappointed. But, as Disco said, “Dayton is trying to negotiate with terrorists that want to kill the hostage anyway. He ha[s] very little choice.”

    I agree with Disco and Repug. about Tom Horner too. Third-party voters seem to deify anyone who runs as a third-party candidate, and very often they are just Republicans with a couple slightly different ideas (“vanity voters” — excellent nick-name).

  • RightisRight

    You know… I work two jobs and take care of my father who has cancer. My pay has not really gone up at either job for two years (a grand total of $0.14/hr at one, flat at the other). I’m driving the same car I’ve had for 10 years (which was 10 years old when I bought it, and I turn the thermostat down in the winter – being on the Iron Range, that means something – and when my cable rates doubled, I simply went without. On less than $20k a year, amazingly, I find ways to live within my income. Why can’t Dayton? Nope- raise taxes and move what precious few jobs there are out of state. I say well done for the GOP.

  • IAZ

    I thought we finally had a leader in the DFL with courage. A governor that stood on principles that the wealthiest Minnesotans need to pay their share. Disappointed in this change of heart.

  • Chris

    Tom, is there any information on what’s going to happen with the IRRRB fund, and the LGA payments that were zeroed out for Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth, but not anyone else?

    Those seemed like obvious deal-breakers for a DFL Governor, but I’m not seeing them mentioned in Dayton’s letter. If this has been resolved earlier and I missed it, I apologize for my ignorance, but it just seems like agreeing to cuts like those would guarantee Dayton a primary challenge in 2014, assuming he runs again.

    By the way, I don’t know what Tom Horner would have done differently as Governor, since we have no prior record to go on other than someone offering typical public radio commentary like “Both sides should stop fighting and just agree with each other. Agree on what, you ask? A solution! Ta-da! Easy-peasy! See, the only reason those guys haven’t figured this stuff out yet is because they haven’t had such smart leaders like me around to give them these great ideas!”

    If Kelliher had been elected, I suspect we would have seen a stand-off go into a special session, but not a shutdown, with an end result similar to the one Dayton is agreeing to, with predictable rage on the part of liberals.

    If Rybak had been electetd, I suspect he would have thrown tax increases overboard early and tried to beat the GOP at their own game by proposing deeper cuts to public services wrapped in “progressive reform” rhetoric, and that most of the liberals in the state would have gone along with it while praising his “strong leadership”.

    Again, I’m basing these guesses on their public records and public responses to them. Personally, I supported Rukavina for Governor. That stand-off would have at least been more entertaining.

  • Jamie

    // “…Why can’t Dayton?” //

    Rightisright, many, probably most, individuals and families (including me) do what you do. We live within our means (and YOU and others should have MORE means!). But the state is not a family or an individual or a business. The state has to provide for its citizens in many ways that cost a lot of money. Our population is aging (costing more $) and growing (costing more $) and changing in other ways – 14,000 more public education students next year (costing more $$$). And of course there’s inflation. The biggest (and growing) part of the budget goes to taking care of our elderly and disabled populations. Would you have us quit doing that?

    State budgets have been cut over and over again in the last couple decades, compared with growing needs and inflation. Many people don’t know this, but there have been many layoffs of state workers in the last few years. Some state workers are doing the work of 2 or more people. There have been state wage freezes in 3 of the last 4 years, and there have been many efforts to increase efficiencies.

    It’s a myth that raising taxes costs jobs, and it’s a myth that lowering taxes creates jobs (our state and federal taxes have been going down for the last few decades, especially for the wealthy — where are all the jobs that were supposed to be created?). If the wealthy paid as much of their income by percentage in taxes as you and I and other working and middle-class people do, perhaps there would be a way to afford to assist you with the care you give your father. Nobody making under $20K should have to do what you do alone.

  • Brent

    People have to understand that there are too many rich, hand-picked, tea party republican business owners in the legislature. Their sole focus is to funnel money to corporations, and they don’t care where they get that money, or who they hurt in the process. Average Minnesotans have been held hostage with the shutdown, and Dayton is sacrificing his reputation in making this offer, so that our suffering will come to an end. Hopefully, the pain of the shutdown won’t fade from people’s memories, and we’ll be able to elect some moderate republicans who will put people first.

  • rick

    I bet we wouldn’t be talking about taxing the rich if Dayton didn’t have his money in North Dakota. Just saying! Most liberal politicians are trust fund babies who haven’t learned the value of earning the doe. Gimmie .. gimmie! What we really need to do is keep feeding the unions and welfare recipiant’s ” who mooch or are here illegally”. Probably nerver helped support anything but a democrat get elected.

    I really don’t like the school’s being messed with, however, do you really think they actually support in a way that is productive. Book’s on being culturally tolerant? Maybe another fat check for district manager or another program every other year. They invent way’s to spend money without it actually going to the class room. Maybe if your primary student body is other than caucasian your school get’s a butt load of money. Just saying.