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Dayton: There won’t be a special session in 2016

MinnPost file photo by Briana Bierschbach
Gov. Mark Dayton said negotiations hadn’t progressed since the final night of the 2016 session.

Gov. Mark Dayton said he won’t call a special session of the Minnesota Legislature, after months of negotiations failed produce any movement on an impasse over light rail transit funding.

After a brief meeting between Dayton and top leaders in the Legislature Thursday, Dayton said negotiations hadn’t progressed since the final night of the 2016 session, when a one-time transportation funding bill and nearly $1 billion package of bonding projects blew up over whether a funding mechanism for light rail was included.

In the weeks after session ended, Dayton also vetoed a $260 million package of tax cuts because the bill included a drafting error surrounding taxation of bingo halls that would cost the state $100 million over the next three years.

Without the special session, all of those proposals will have to wait until next year. Dayton said he plans to introduce bonding and tax proposals at the start of the 2017 session, using the two failed bills as bases.

Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said Republicans refused to budge on their opposition to allowing metro-area counties to raise the money needed to pay for the state share of the controversial Southwest Light Rail Line project. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said Democrats killed the prospect for tax cuts and bonding projects across the state over the project.

Daudt also said he thinks the SWLRT project is “dead” after their opposition, though Dayton is meeting Friday with Met Council Chairman Adam Duininck to look at their funding options.

Check MinnPost tomorrow for more coverage. 

Comments (8)

  1. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 08/18/2016 - 09:08 pm.


    How Republicans are all about local control except when it comes to the Metro, hypocrisy anyone?

  2. Submitted by Mike martin on 08/18/2016 - 10:35 pm.

    stand off

    The Governor & Dems insist on funding for SW LRT. The Republicans insist no funding for SW LRT.

    The Governor & Dems knew In 2014 the Republicans were opposed to SW LRT.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over & over again & expecting different results. By this definition the Governor & Dems are insane. Because they keep insisting on the same thing. They have never changed their proposal or what they offer in return Which is nothing.

    To the best of my knowledge not even once have the Governor & Dems engaged in political horse trading. I give you something you want, then you’ll give me something I want

    If the Governor & Dems want the SW LRT so much why haven’t they offered the Republicans something the Republicans want in exchange or a few Republican votes for SW LRT? They don]’t need a majority of Republican votes just a few to go with 100% of the House Dems to get a simple majority.

    What about these ideas (just suggestions to the ideas flowing)

    Maybe an extra $ 500 million for road & bridges in rural MN would do it. (although many Republicans are opposed to more bonding)

    More flexible rules for school choice, charter and religious schools

    More funding for ethanol

    Vouchers or tax breaks for parents who send their children to private schools Especially low income families. (they pay taxes for their children to attend public schools and tuition to attend private schools

    Faster permitting for businesses that need permits from MN PCA or DNR

    Or ????

    • Submitted by Tim Walker on 08/19/2016 - 07:42 am.

      By your definition, the Republicans are also insane.

      And to the best of my knowledge not even once have the Republicans engaged in political horse trading.

    • Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 08/19/2016 - 10:21 am.

      The Governor

      Matt the Republicans more than halfway in this budget bill. They refused to budge and bragged about it. There comes a time when you quit making deals with a logical people. This is one of them.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 08/19/2016 - 09:21 pm.

      Or eliminate

      Aid to cities.

  3. Submitted by Larry Moran on 08/19/2016 - 09:32 am.


    I’m not crazy about this LRT project but I think the Governor made a pretty significant change on a funding approach. Originally the state’s share was to be paid for out of a bonding bill (I think). He changed the proposal to have the state’s share paid for by an increase in the sales tax in the 7 county metro area (which of course would mean it’s no longer the state’s share). I think this approach is crazy–living in the metro I pay for all sorts of things out of the area to benefit other Minnesotans and I would hope that would be reciprocated. If this project is important for the health of MN (like bridges, roads, schools) then all of MN should help pay for it. If it’s not that important it should be scrubbed.

  4. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/19/2016 - 10:31 am.

    Since A Large Majority of the Funding Provided by the State

    for everything from soup to nuts in rural areas,…

    comes from taxes collected in the seven-county metro area,…

    I can’t help but wonder if the DFL will ever be so craven and crass as to play the game rural Republican legislators have been playing for the past few decades,…

    holding hostage funding for anything and everything they can point to as a hot button boondoggle in the rural areas,…

    until the rural legislators fund what the DFL wants in the metro area.

    The inner city legislators could even begin to identify a few less-than-productive individuals in the rural areas,…

    where every community has a few,…

    paint all of rural Minnesota with that same brush,…

    WHITE “welfare queens (and kings)” as it were,…

    and refuse to fund anything which supports the profligate lifestyles of “those kind of people.”

    Of course such an approach might fail because those who now control the Republican Party in much of the South and Southwest areas of Minnesota (and the NW suburbs of the metro),…

    have such a psychological aversion to paying ANY taxes,…

    that they wouldn’t care (and might even celebrate) if their local public schools were closed,…

    half the roads in their counties were closed due to failed bridges,…

    the potholes in their roads were big enough to tear the wheels off their cars,…

    and law enforcement ceased to exist (they have their OWN guns, after all).

    The question which lingers in my mind, however,…

    is why the more moderate Republicans continue to allow these folks to run the party.

    Are they so afraid of the Cliven Bundy/militia types that they don’t dare stand up to them in Precinct Caucuses and Country Board meetings?

  5. Submitted by Jon Olson on 08/19/2016 - 12:37 pm.

    Choosing not to get assigned work accomplished

    To both parties….I’ve often wondered what it must be like to choose not to accomplish anything in my daily work. Especially if I flat out just disagree with my co-worker, or think their idea(s) have no merit. Sad that politics has become a world of I’m right and you’re wrong vs working together to get work done.

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