DFL Governor Mark Dayton signed a stack of budget bills into law, swiftly ending the longest state government shutdown in history. The governor said he wasn’t happy about the $35 billion budget that borrows more than a billion from schools and tobacco bonds, but because of the shutdown he concluded it was the best option available. What was missing for Dayton was “the progressive tax increase I campaigned on.” Ultimately, the governor said he and the legislature share responsibility for the shutdown.
The Republican controlled legislature passed 12 bills in 12 hours, a pace many had never seen before. After the special session concluded at 3:45 am, Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers said “This budget accomplishes what we set out to do: it does not raise taxes, cuts projected spending by $2.5 billion and bends the cost curve of unsustainable state spending.” Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch added “We made a concerted effort to build-in substantial, real reform measures into our budget package that funds Minnesota state government at appropriate levels.”