DFL Governor Mark Dayton stood on the Capitol steps in the longest state government shutdown in history and offered other revenue options like expanding sales taxes to services, not food or clothing. The governor also announced he’ll “take his budget message directly to the people of Minnesota” traveling the state to communities “directly impacted by the cuts in the Republican budget” including St. Cloud, Rochester, Winona, Albert Lea, Moorhead and more. Asked if he was negotiating against himself by proposing the last two budget offers, Dayton said “I am still waiting for a counter offer, but I want to get this resolved.” Former Republican Leader Senator Dave Senjem said gambling will be “part of the recipe in the end” but neither side wants to be the first to bring a Racino up in negotiations.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch issued the following statement: “Despite his insistence during the campaign cycle that he would not allow government to shut down, Governor Dayton has not only allowed Minnesota’s State Government to shut down, but he has allowed it to continue by refusing to call us into a special session. Only Gov. Dayton can end this shut down, which is now the longest government shut down in U.S. history.” Koch said the shutdown will cost nearly $65 million a week and added “Gov. Dayton chose to layoff over 22,000 people, suspend road construction projects and close state parks. He chose this, while keeping his personal chef and housekeeper on staff in the official Governor’s residence.”