Dayton offers to end shutdown by accepting GOP plan — with conditions

Gov. Mark Dayton
MinnPost/James Nord
Gov. Mark Dayton

Gov. Mark Dayton took a big step toward ending the state shutdown this morning, by offering to accept the Republicans’ final offer on June 30 to resolve the state budget crisis.

Dayton said “…I will reluctantly agree to, although I do not agree with” the offer sheet Republicans had made on the verge of the shutdown.

There are some conditions to Dayton’s offer (PDF):

He wants social policy issues, such as restrictions on stem cell research and abortion, taken off the table; the elimination of a GOP move to cut state employees by 15 percent; and that Republicans agree to pass a $500 million bonding bill.

That plan won’t resolve the long-term problem, Dayton said, because it includes shifts such as:

  • A shift in K-12 school aid payments from 70/30 to 60/40
  • Issuing tobacco bonds to cover the remaining gap
  • Increasing the per student formula by $50 per year to cover additional borrowing costs
  • Adding $10 million more to the University of Minnesota to equalize MnSCU cuts
  • Restoring funding to Department of Human Rights and Trade Office

Dayton was speaking at the U of M this morning when he announced that he’d sent the letter. Republican leaders have not yet had an opportunity to respond.

MinnPost will have more coverage later.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (32)

  1. Submitted by Rod Loper on 07/14/2011 - 11:06 am.

    This is just awful. Kicks the can down the road.

  2. Submitted by Michael Corcoran on 07/14/2011 - 11:12 am.

    He caved.

    Congrats to the Republican leadership for standing strong against new taxes.

  3. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 07/14/2011 - 11:15 am.

    Awesome! More borrowing from schools, more shifting and oh yeah leveraging the tobacco money.

    I thought Governor Pawlenty had left to run for higher office.

  4. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 07/14/2011 - 11:21 am.

    I’d love to get in a poker game with Dayton. Way to cave in, guv. I knew you could do it.

  5. Submitted by steve lewis on 07/14/2011 - 11:37 am.

    markie mark was in winona and boy were the natives steamed at him. where’s the liquor, markie mark? now that he’s sent a letter to the legislative leadership, he can jettison the “tax the rich” scheme that’s driven countless businesses across state lines over the past forty years. the joke in sioux falls, sd: the city has become a community of accountants and receptionists for businesses that have fled minnesota. former gov. perpich used to say that he wanted the “brain industries” in minnesota. in south dakota, it was a no-brainer to grab that business from minnesota in those days with dull rudy perpich as governor. chasing businesses out of state would have driven markie mark’s dad out of state before target stores’ existence. after rolling over in the grave, markie mark’s dad will be known as “spinner dayton.”
    Read more: Dayton Agrees to Republican Budget to End Minnesota Shutdown

  6. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 07/14/2011 - 11:38 am.

    Ever heard of a Pyrrhic – GOP – victory?

    Cuts attenuated. Screwball solution on GOP.

    House and Senate reverts to DFL in 2012. Then we can fix things and move on.

    Best Dayton could do. Continuation of shutdown ridiculous since dealing with Grovers and other flavors of zealotry.

  7. Submitted by Martin Moen on 07/14/2011 - 11:46 am.

    Let’s see…Gov. Dayton gets a $500m construction bill, delays dumb policy issues, and turns back an arbitrary reduction in state workers…by accepting a continuation of bad fiscal policy (borrowing) and an unfair tax structure. Sounds like a reasonable compromise given the situation. If you thought the “tax the rich” proposal was going to get past the Republicans, you’re delusional.

    And, think how Gov. Dayton’s offer will look if the Republicans turn it down.

  8. Submitted by Virginia Martin on 07/14/2011 - 11:49 am.

    It is awful. What a shame that the repubs are getting away with their stonewalling.
    I have yet to hear a repub discuss the impact of their budget on Minnesota people, on individuals, on state workers, on dozens of other kinds of workers we didn’t even realize would be affected–like bars and liquor stores, retailers who sell cigarettes and the like.
    I suspect Governor Dayton gave in because he could see how deeply this was affecting Minnesotans and could not bear to allow it to go on. In my opinion, most of the repub leaders have ice in their veins and probably in their frozen brains.
    Despite pleas by the clergy of all faiths and by thousands of others, we continue our race to the bottom. We’ll soon be a cool (not cold) Alabama, and who in their right mind would move here then ?

  9. Submitted by Matthew Levitt on 07/14/2011 - 11:55 am.

    Who didn’t see this coming?

    If I were the Republican leadership, I’d reject it and hold out another week. Why not get everything if all one has to do is wait another week?

  10. Submitted by Tony Cuppacalucci on 07/14/2011 - 11:58 am.

    GOP should take the deal, claim victory and campaign next year on upholding their “No New Taxes” pledge. And, don’t risk overplaying their hand.

  11. Submitted by Paul Scott on 07/14/2011 - 12:02 pm.

    Wow, if the first four comments are any suggestion, my liberal friends are just as rigid and unrealistic as the GOP negotiators. Of course its a lousy arrangement — what did you think the result of a DFL governor and a ideologically loony GOP house was going to look like.

    The governor is not going to get new taxes until the DFL fields the kind of candidates it will need to get the house back. That’s just reality. If the GOP takes it, which doesn’t seem likely because they seem, like David Brooks wrote, divorced from all reason, too thick to know a good thing when they see it, you don’t have the social issues and you create jobs with bonding. That’s something to run on, and you make the GOP wear around their neck the fact that the governor had to kick the can down the road because of them.

  12. Submitted by Peter Mikkalson on 07/14/2011 - 12:06 pm.

    What is up with democratic leaders caving on such important issues that were once the center-stone of their campaigns? This sounds like over-priced bad advice from the same idiots that got us here. Thanks.

  13. Submitted by Carol Logie on 07/14/2011 - 12:07 pm.

    I hope people remember that Republicans are the ones gutting their schools and neighborhoods. I’m sorry to see the governor give in to political extremism, but I fully expect that republicans will turn him down anyway. They are in it for everything, no exceptions, no compromise.

    I doubt this is the end of the shutdown.

  14. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/14/2011 - 12:09 pm.

    Mediocrity reigns throughout the Capitol in St Paul. Any high school civics class do better than the numbskulls we elected.

  15. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 07/14/2011 - 12:10 pm.

    Mr. Dayton is basically accepting an offer he previously rejected. Does that not make the state shutdown nothing more than political theatre and a waste of taxpayer money?

  16. Submitted by Richard Pecar on 07/14/2011 - 12:16 pm.

    Oh, com’on Guv…is this you at your strongest? Is it your definition of “leadership”? Is this decision the best you got? Who are your aides anyway? You said you were going to raise taxes on those who could afford it…what happened? Meet a little opposition, did you? What did you expect? A red carpet? Who gives you such milky-toasty advice? Are you like president Obama who hires the best YUPPIE’s you can find, the kids with the great GPA’s and no spine?

    Or, do you have TPaw’s advisors hiding behind the curtain with you…I mean, “tobacco money”? Really? Sounds like last year’s news to me. Is this the real you Governor Dayton? Are you really so practiced at folding your cards and heading out the door that you can’t help youself? Is this what we are to expect from you from here on out? I mean, it’s like we all have seen this before, right? Once.

    I guess I’m disappointed and simply having a hard time accepting the evidence…which is this: I believe the democrats are useless and toothless and spineless…and it started in 2006 when they held the majority in congress…and a milestone was in December of 2010, when the lamest of lame duck sessions ever convened and ever witnessed in my lifetime occurred…when the democrat’s lameness spread to the states…and the lesson I need to lean is this: BIG MONEY always wins in America. The BIG BOSSES get what they want, always. The rest of us are beasts of burden, fodder for their fancy.

    Again, I get the picture…the democrats aren’t worth supporting if all they can do is fold their cards and run for the door when the going gets a little tough.

  17. Submitted by Craig Huber on 07/14/2011 - 12:19 pm.

    Agreed with those that say this is about the best he could hope for, given the Republicans he has to deal with. Kick them out in the next election, and work our way back to sane fiscal policy then.

    Also, I do think there’s a good chance the R’s will overplay their hand here. This could end up (in hindsight) being a feather in the Gov’s cap before all is said and done…

  18. Submitted by David LaPorte on 07/14/2011 - 12:25 pm.

    This is the best that Dayton could do, with intransigent zealots in control of the legislature. However, the Republicans will now own everything bad that comes from this deal. And this “victory” will come back to bite them in 2012.

    I’m disappointed with the outcome, but believe that Dayton played the cards he was dealt well.

  19. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 07/14/2011 - 12:41 pm.

    I appreciate that Gov. Dayton, unlike his heartless, dysfonic Republican counterparts, (who couldn’t have cared less) could no longer stand the continuing damage this shutdown was doing to his fellow citizens.

    Sadly, I fear he has just given those same dysfonic Republicans the message that they will NEVER need to compromise with him.

    If the public, as financially stressed as we all are, continues to remain drunk on the seductively addictive snakeoil our “conservative” friends are selling us,…

    And continues to vote for “cheaper” (even to the extent of non-functioning state government in the fall of 2012) this will just continue the downward spiral begun under Jesse Ventura and continued under Tim Pawlenty.

    Considering the likely effects of global warming which will be evident throughout the state on Sunday and Monday, and increase over the next few decades, I fear Minnesota will now rapidly move in the direction of being not a COLD Mississippi, but just a clone of Mississippi.

    Meanwhile, all the very successful, highly profitable state businesses that require highly-educated, highly-creative employees will gradually move to places where they can still find those things (and that WON’T be Mississippi or any other “low tax” state),…

    and the NEW business startups that have made Minnesota such an economic powerhouse – startups which commonly grew out of research from our local colleges and universities will NEVER BE BORN.

    Congratulations, my Republican friends! I suspect you have just set our state on a path which will lead to the massive slaughter of the geese that had laid all of our golden eggs (especially those of the already rich).

    Those of you who think this dysfonic path will increase your personal wealth will soon find that you’ve been reduced to the status of maggots battling with each other while feeding on the rapidly-decaying carcasses of those dead geese and left to languish in a state where the things necessary to “build wealth” no longer exist (because YOU demanded that they be cut).

    Of course by the time all you less-than-wealthy disciples of Grover Norquist figure out that following his policies has resulted in granting open season for the wealthiest of the wealthy to extract every bit of resources you ever had from your pockets and bank accounts while laying waste to the entire economy of our state, you won’t even be able to afford bus fare to Wisconsin,…

    and will find that you’re stuck with the rest of us lying the filthy, bug-infested, bed you SO INSISTED on making for our state.

    I’d suggest we ALL read the Biblical book of Job, while realizing that, unlike Job, it wasn’t God who did this to us, but those among us who, in valuing making and keeping money above all other things, were allowed to take control, who have done it to us (and since so many of us voted for them, we have done it to ourselves).

    Of course the very few among our friends and neighbors who manage to profit from this disaster will serve in the roll of Job’s friends, doing their best to convince the vast majority of the rest of us that it is our own economic “sins” that have led to our downfall.

    Meanwhile, if, like Job, we are to see a restoration of Minnesota to its former economic strength, I fear it will be many decades in the future, long after our current crop of whining, grumbling dysfonic “conservative” leaders who led us into this miserable wilderness have died off.

  20. Submitted by Tim Milner on 07/14/2011 - 01:13 pm.

    #8 Ginny

    I have yet to hear a repub discuss the impact of their budget on Minnesota people, on individuals, on state workers, on dozens of other kinds of workers we didn’t even realize would be affected–like bars and liquor stores, retailers who sell cigarettes and the like.


    While not a supporter of the rhetoric and tactics currently being displayed, your point is actually what troubles many of us. Does government really need to be at the heart of every daily activity? Each day, in the reporting being done on the shutdown, I am starting to get a better picture of just how big, and how bureaucratic, state government is

    I struggle to see what the public good is in forcing the bars and restaurants to have both a license to sell and a license to buy liquor? 2 different forms and 2 different processes. How much does that cost – both in actual dollars and time spent by businesses?

    Another example that just came up – the need to license your brand in MN. Does not federal trademark law cover that? Do we really need the State to have an agency responsible for monitoring / licensing that? Does anyone believe that Miller/Coors would not defend itself quickly should their trademark be tampered with?

    I heard from a friend that someone was ticketed for using an unregistered kayak on Lake Phalen – the kayak is normally used in Wisconsin, but the person brought it to the cities for the week. Was not able to buy a license, so just used the kayak. Again, what greater public good is being promoted by requiring the licensing of kayaks? Do we really need a DNR officer checking the lakes for unlicensed kayaks? Is the licensing money that important to the state?

    I think this government shutdown has raised a lot of issues like these questioning just exactly how much government we really need. The problem is that every program has employees tied to it and a constituency that wants it. So there is great inertia to allowing the status quo to prevail.

    But, like I have to do in my business, if a cost vs value assessment were performed on every government program, my guess is there is a pretty decent percentage of programs that simply would not be justified. Just like in my business – we don’t always do / purchase everything we would like to have because it does not add sufficient value. Maybe its time for government to do the same. How much saving is there in government if it was more narrowly focused?

    Now of course there are things that the government has to do – care for the poor and elderly, education, healthcare and transportation. The public good is very well understood – the cost justification rules should not apply.

    But there is only so much money that can be spent. We really need to have the discussion about just what government really HAS to do (verse what we would LIKE it to do) and raise and allocate those funds accordingly.

  21. Submitted by Sue Halligan on 07/14/2011 - 01:15 pm.

    OMG. I didn’t think Dayton would do this. I’m incredibly disappointed.

  22. Submitted by Alicia DeMatteo on 07/14/2011 - 01:22 pm.

    Getting really tired of hearing the phrase “he caved” here. This is not a poker game or a staring contest; these are people’s livelihoods and the wellbeing and stability of our state in the balance. Grow up.

  23. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 07/14/2011 - 01:44 pm.

    Mr. Milner (#21) — Those are all items you can ask your representative to take up during the legislative session. They are inconveniences that do not threaten your life, unlike some of the cuts that the Rs want to make.

    What’s IMPORTANT about the right-wing’s planned cuts is that MinnesotaCare would become an utterly inadequate voucher plan (vouchers would pay 80% of the cost of insurance premiums but nothing else) that would price 140,000 low-income workers out of health care altogether because of such requirements as having to purchase a separate policy for each family member, paying big deductibles and co-pays and out-of-network charges (a minimum $3,000 per person per year out-of-pocket).

    Medicaid would become a block grant (a small one) that the state could administer more “efficiently,” meaning of course that payments to cover care for the poorest among us would shrink.

    It’s not just health care but every piece of the social safety net that is now in place to help ease suffering. Today’s Republicans have sold their hearts and even their minds to Grover Norquist and his ilk.

  24. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 07/14/2011 - 01:55 pm.

    Dayton didn’t cave, he folded like wet cardboard and it didn’t even take two weeks.

  25. Submitted by Thomas Eckhardt on 07/14/2011 - 02:32 pm.

    These comments are absurd, Dayton’s a governor with a legislature occupied by fanatics. He’s not a king. Give him a DFL majority in the legislature in 2012, that’s what it’s going to take, a legislature and governor working together.

  26. Submitted by Beth Dhennin on 07/14/2011 - 03:09 pm.

    Concerned as I am for Minnesota’s public schools, I agree heartily that considering the current group of newbies on the Republican side, compromise is not part of their lexicon ,and this is the ONLY way Dayton can end this disastrous shut-down, and come away with something of worth: the elimination of the social constraints proposed by that crew of neophytes should make good progressives breathe more easily. However, what comes next is of Extreme Importance! In the upcoming session of the legislature, focus must then be on resurrecting a true NEW MINNESOTA MIRACLE for the schools – and, with that whole new class of progressive “newbies” who will have been elected to replace this pathetic group, that should certainly be possible.

  27. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 07/14/2011 - 04:48 pm.

    DFLer’s can spin this anyway they please.

    “Wet cardboard” sounds about right…..

  28. Submitted by Lynn Wehrman on 07/14/2011 - 05:00 pm.

    This is what happens when you deal with terrorists. Congratulation, GOP. Your political gorilla tactics worked. You win.

    Just hope you’ve reinforced the walls on your gated communities. The peasants will get restless without education and health care.

  29. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/14/2011 - 06:39 pm.

    Nowhere in his letter or in the news accounts is any actual dollar amount mentioned. So what are they going to spend in this budget as opposed to the last budget? That might be an interesting bit of news, don’t you think?

  30. Submitted by Lora Jones on 07/14/2011 - 07:03 pm.

    #25. Arrogance and Ignorance. MN GOP.

    Back when I was a little girl, some of the “big” kids in the neighborhood starting coming over and swinging on our swingset. We told our dad. He said, “why do you let them?” “they’re so much bigger than us” my sister said. My dad said, “well. pick up a rock. That’ll even the score.” It did.

    Right now, all I can say is that I hope the GOPer freshmen remember that they “won” the house by 694 votes. And there are a whole lot of people out there picking up rocks.

  31. Submitted by Joseph Skar on 07/14/2011 - 08:33 pm.

    #31 -Purchased Failure – Mark Dayton

    Pick up all the rocks you want it won’t matter after redistricting.

Leave a Reply