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Dayton won’t accept piecemeal budget from GOP, and he has other complaints, too


Gov. Mark Dayton told legislators today that he doesn’t like the way the GOP majority is putting together a piecemeal budget.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers, Dayton said that he was required to come up with a “complete, comprehensive and balanced budget” and thinks the Legislature must do that, too, as a “necessary precondition before we begin to negotiate a final budget resolution.”

He said: “[E]xcept for small expenditures that might mirror my proposed budget, I will not agree to any bills containing revenue increases, reductions or expenditures until after the Legislature has established and decided upon one complete, comprehensive and balanced budget for the 2012-13 biennium.”

Dayton also said he’s concerned about reports that the GOP leaders apparently don’t trust fiscal notes coming from state agencies, regarding the economic impact of proposed bills. He’s said he’s instructed state staff to be sure fiscal notes and other analyses “must provide all of us with the same honest, unbiased and impartial analyses of all our proposals.”

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In return, he said, the fiscal notes “must be accepted by all parties as the official arbiters of the revenues and expenditures resulting from our respective proposals.”

Dayton also said he wants all policy items taken out of appropriations and tax bills. Gov. Pawlenty felt the same way, Dayton said, and therefore he will not sign tax or spending bills that contain policy items that he hasn’t agreed with.

“If I reject those items, and therefore the bills containing them have to be returned for separate passage, those delays will be the Legislature’s responsibility, not mine.”