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Dayton says comments make him ‘less optimistic’ about budget deal

While in Rochester Thursday for the IBM centennial, Gov.

While in Rochester Thursday for the IBM centennial, Gov. Mark Dayton told the paper there that he was shocked that Republican legislative leaders are questioning his administration’s fiscal analysis of the GOP budget.

And he said that kind of posturing makes him “less optimistic” that a budget deal can be reached by the session’s May 23 deadline.

Earlier in the week, Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch had been in Rochester and told the paper that she felt there was partisanship involved in the fiscal analysis that found the GOP budget to be $1 billion short of solving the deficit:

“First of all, they are not nonpartisan analysts that have said that there is a billion dollar (gap). That’s the governor’s appointees who are saying that,” Koch said.

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Dayton was taken aback upon hearing those comments:

“I am just really shocked that she would say that because it basically means we are running a political shop that doesn’t have integrity to it,” Dayton told the Post-Bulletin: 

He added he is “less optimstic” about getting a budget deal by the end of session “when I hear comments like that.”

 Dayton said one of the reasons he chose Jim Schowalter as MMB commissioner is because he had served during Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s administration. He added that except for one staff member who left because she was pregnant, the staff doing the fiscal notes for bills has not changed since Pawlenty was governor.

“If we can’t agree to those two (agencies) as the arbiters of revenue and spending, I have said they are speaking Latin and I am speaking Greek,” he said.