Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed two more budget bills over the Memorial Day weekend, which will further complicate a coming special session of the Legislature.
On Saturday, he vetoed the omnibus agriculture, environment and natural resources bill and the omnibus jobs and energy bill.
No date has been scheduled for a special session, but planning was already in the works because Dayton previously vetoed the K-12 education bill because it didn’t have enough funding for pre-kindergarten.
Dayton vetoed the omnibus agriculture, environment and natural resources bill even though it included one of his priorities: a requirement for buffers between farmland and waterways. But he and environmentalists didn’t like many things in the bill, including the elimination of a citizens’ board that oversees some decisions at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
Republican state Rep. Denny McNamara of Hastings told MPR that avian flu funding, extended unemployment benefits, state parks and the Minnesota Zoo will all be affected by the veto:
“He jeopardized all that and vetoed it over minor MPCA policies that we offered to work with him in special session,” McNamara said, adding that getting agreement in a special session will be difficult.
Dayton said the jobs and energy bill, which funds the Department of Commerce, the Bureau of Mediation Services and Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeal, had “seriously inadequate” funding for broadband. And he objected to “changes to Minnesota’s net metering laws that will disincentivize the use of wind and solar power.”
A statement from Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt called the new vetoes, along with the early education/K-12 veto,”very disappointing”:
With his vetoes, he is rejecting bipartisan efforts to put more than $17 billion toward students in every classroom, provide resources to help farmers devastated by avian flu, send relief to miners facing unemployment on the Iron Range.
He said the Legislature had finished its work, but “the governor wants more time. We will continue to work with him for Minnesotans.”