Dayton’s State of the State strikes a cooperative tone (with an eye towards November)

With MPR’s Rupa Shenoy…

Governor Mark Dayton politely asked legislative leaders to pass his job creation plans. But in his second State of the State speech last night (Audio and written document below) he also told them that the voters would judge in November who has the right approach on the state’s finances.

In a speech that was part conciliatory and part confrontational, Dayton outlined his priorities for the legislative session. Dayton called for lawmakers to pass a bonding bill, a new Vikings stadium and a tax credit for businesses that hire new workers.

Dayton said the bonding bill would repair buildings, upgrade classrooms, improve state parks, and finance downtown revitalization projects. He cited a national study that said the bill would create nearly 22-thousand jobs.

The governor also called for passage of a bill to fund a new Vikings stadium.

“Some of you reportedly want to avoid voting on a stadium until after next fall’s elections,” Dayton said. “That would be terribly unfair to the several thousand unemployed Minnesotans, who could be working on that project this year, and to the Vikings. Pass the Stadium Bill this session. Please.”

Dayton also mentioned the November elections several times during his speech. He said voters would decide whether his approach to raise taxes on top earners to fix the state’s budget situation or the GOP plan that relied on spending cuts.

Republicans praised Dayton for striking a mostly cooperative tone during the speech. GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers said Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers said he’s ready to have that discussion.

“We lived within our means and we didn’t raise taxes on business owners,” Zellers said. “If that’s the choice going into this fall’s election, absolutely.”

GOP Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem said he expects the legislature to pass a bonding bill but Republican leaders didn’t commit to Dayton’s other job creation plans.

Listen to Dayton’s speech here:

Listen to the news conference from Zellers and Senjem here:

Senjem released a video message that you can watch here.

You can read Dayton’s speech here:

2012 State of the State

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