When Budget negotiations go bad: Republicans call Dayton’s offer ‘unacceptable,’ ready vote

MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka speaking at Tuesday morning's press conference, as House Speaker Kurt Daudt and state Sen. Julie Rosen look on.

Negotiations over the state’s two-year budget took a sudden turn Tuesday, with Republicans claiming Gov. Mark Dayton is slow-walking a deal, which has led them to ready their own budget plans for a vote.

The move comes after days of closed-door negotiations between Dayton and GOP leaders in the Legislature that, by all accounts, were moving slowly but surely toward a deal. But their most recent meeting on Monday broke up after Dayton made offers to Republicans on the public safety, agriculture, economic development and higher education budgets. Between those offers, Dayton reduced his proposed spending by about $74 million, he said.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said those offers were “unacceptable.” “The steps were so small on the smallest bills that we didn’t know how we could possibly get there,” Gazelka said. “I think they were sincere first offers, but they were unacceptable and would not lead to getting done on time.”

In a statement, Dayton said he’s met with legislators for the last six days to work out their differences on a budget and made four budget offers.

“Instead of returning to the table with their counteroffers, as we had agreed they would do – Republicans are instead choosing to double down on their original budget bills with no compromises,” Dayton said in a statement. “I am hopeful that those who are in the Legislative Leadership have the ability, resolve, and political courage to come back to the table so we can finish the job Minnesotans sent us to Saint Paul to do on their behalf.”

Dayton and Republicans plan to meet Tuesday afternoon to continue going over the budget bills. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt said that meeting must be productive or the House and Senate could move start taking votes in their own budget bills — without a compromise. That could force Dayton to veto budget bills and start the process over.

Lawmakers are trying to pass a budget deal and meet a May 22 deadline to adjourn. If a budget deal is not passed in time, Dayton could call legislators back into a special session. They must find a deal before July 1, the start of the fiscal year, or state government operations will automatically shut down.

Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by lee wick on 05/09/2017 - 12:08 pm.

    Dayton Legacy – Shutdown.

    I watch the legislature live on TPT. Budget cuts according to the DFL are actuall cuts in the demand for more increases.

    • Submitted by Neal Rovick on 05/09/2017 - 03:11 pm.

      Once again…

      For reference:

      In 1958, per capita health expenditures were $134. This may seem astonishingly small, but it actually includes everything, inclusive of care paid for by government or private health insurers. A worker earning the average wage in 1958 ($1.98) would have had to work 118 hours—nearly 15 days–to cover this expense. By 2012, per capita health spending had climbed to $8,953. At the average wage, a typical worker would have to work 467 hours—about 58 days

      (https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisconover/2012/12/22/the-cost-of-health-care-1958-vs-2012/#4f6627694910 )

      In that same time period, the population increased from 3 million to 5 million.

      So between 1958 and 2012, similar types of medical spending (if you could find similarities) would increase by about 17 times due to increase in costs AND population.

      Now what is so difficult to understand–keeping total spending the same while costs and population increase IS a cut in coverage.

      Try going to a hospital and offering to pay what they billed in 1968. Or try to buy a hamburger for 29 cents. Or feed your family on the same amount of money when you have the second set of twins.

  2. Submitted by Wayne Cox on 05/09/2017 - 12:24 pm.

    It’s MN GOP shutdown time again

    We’ve seen this movie many times before.
    It always ends the same. If Dems don’t go along with cutting essential services to carve out money to pay for another round of tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy (this time it is estate tax cuts), then Republicans shut the government down. They will spend another six weeks finger-pointing, but that is all part of the show. Legislatic sessions aren’t for adopting laws. They are actually infomericals–GOP branding moments.

    Oh, and by the way, there wil be no bonding legislation. Here’s the way that game works: Republicans will pass a bonding bill designed to attract a veto. That sets up a three-fer. 1. They get to tell to tell the home folks they voted for the improvements.
    2. They get to blame the governor for blocking these public works. 3. They get to maintain their street cred with movement conservatives by ensuring government didn’t end up adopting any of these public projects. You can name this movie Cynical. Just don’t call it Governance.

  3. Submitted by Mike martin on 05/09/2017 - 03:40 pm.

    Tax cut will help small businesses

    The proposed property tax cuts on commercial property will help small businesses that are located in small & medium building (small business in the IDS tower won’t benefit, but if they are in the IDS Center they are profitable businesses.

    It will especially help small businesses in minority neighborhoods where property values are low.

    Right now the working poor in MN pay a higher tax rate more that millionaires in over 20 other states.

  4. Submitted by Greg Laden on 05/09/2017 - 04:24 pm.

    If only they were not so distracted

    The Republicans could probably have come to the point they need to be in these negotiations if they were not distracted for the first several days of session by all those Alec authored bills designed maybe to dismantle civilization as we know it.

  5. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 05/09/2017 - 11:11 pm.

    Political Grandstanding.

    The party of no is at it again. They do not want to deal with the state’s needs for a budget sensitive to all views, but want to make Dayton look back. Sort of like Trump thinking that a federal government shutdown would help his get his way, MN Republicans think the same thing will work in Minnesota. What is your issue? Dayton isn’t caving in. Why would he, when he is moving the ball to get to a solution?

    Thanks to our coming national crisis, cannot we just get to a solution, rather than taking your party and the state farther out on a limb?

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