Budget Stalled, Republicans Eye Minn. Constitution

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Proposals to amend Minnesota’s constitution are proliferating as GOP lawmakers find a route around Gov. Mark Dayton.

Proposed constitutional amendments under consideration would ban gay marriage, limit state spending, make it harder to raise state taxes and require photo IDs at the polls.

The governor doesn’t have the power to block ballot questions.

That means Republicans running the entire Legislature for the first time in 38 years can push the proposals through without interference.

House Majority Leader Matt Dean says legislators are focusing on issues where the public wants to have a say. Constitutional amendments that pass both houses of the Legislature would appear on the November 2012 ballot.

Democrats say the proposals are a distraction from unfinished budget work to fix a $5 billion deficit.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Flower child

    If this garbage goes through now and gets voted in in 2012, those of us who are retired can take our money and leave and go to a state that has its priorities right!

    • Jose

      adios, may I suggest California (bankrupt), Illinois (bankrupt), New York (bankrupt), all demacratic states.

      • dan

        texas(bankrupt) republican state move there Jose

        • Flower child

          @dan. Maybe we could move to Mexico. There must be whole cities that are empty by now…..

        • Only in golf does 1 beat 3

          OH….Nice one Dan…He brings up THREE examples..and you bring up ONE? Keep trying…..

      • Walker

        California has problems because off what the voters passed. mandated spending with limits on raising the funds to pay for it.

        • Claire

          I dont think we are talking about the Democrat madating spending love children, we are talking about limiting all state spending

    • Sevanclaig

      What’s your problem with allowing the public to vote on the most divisive issues- also falling into a priority category- instead of continuing to leave it up to a bunch of do nothing politico’s (they have more important issues?- right, like all the monied up hands in their pockets)?
      Oh yes, now I see, you’re a flower child. You’ve never liked to live with your own consequences, why would you like people voting unless your people win.
      There should be an integrity test before you cast a ballot.

  • Sam Wedges

    I thought that was exactly what the GOP doesn’t want… Taxpayers and businesses to leave their state. By the way I voted for my legislatures to make these important decisions for me. Oh yeah I also pay for them to make these decisions as well. Will they be sending me some sort of refund for their lack of duty and work. Or maybe the price of shame bestowed upon them will be good enough…

  • Jim

    I like voting, and every attempt to make our budget like North Dakotas, and make our population like North Dakota’s (sub 4% unemployment) I encourage. There’s a big difference between trying to push through cost-free social laws and poking giant holes in the state general fund. Everyone talks about businesses leaving….. where are they going to go? Not one of the current bankrupt states.

  • Alex V

    It is totally inappropriate to use the constitution to advance policy goals. It is meant to be a skeleton of how our government works and to guarantee basic rights. If the Republicans really want to have the public vote on everything, they should pass an amendment to establish initiative and referendum. Then we can have 4 page ballots every election like California does. I think we need an amendment that would require either a majority of both house plus the governor’s signature or a two thirds supermajority of both houses to put an amendment on the ballot.

  • CM

    The republicans are Lazy and are getting paid for doing things the easy way.

    • Spin Dem's Spin

      WHAT? The repubs are the ones WORKING here! The DEM’s are the ones that just want to “Pass it as is”…..
      I think Gov Dayton has you snowed…..

  • Murph

    The spiders are after the fies again! Might be time for some political pesticide pretty darn quick! 2012 won’t come fast enough to help everyone.As seniors,middleclass and the poor will soon be relegated to those camps the Repugs refirBUSHED for SOMEONE? Boy are you poor unsuspecting Minnesotans in for a huge sucker punch.Move to the woods and never look back! Use some of the same barbed wire they plan to use to block you in,to block them out! Trust no one!

  • Minnesota nice

    What is everyone out there so afraid of. If it gets voted in then it is what the majority of Minnesotans want, it it don’t get voted in then we let it go. Simple as that.

    • Grover

      If the majority wanted slaves and legalized murder that would be fine as long as the majority wanted it? On the extreme end for an example. Social issues are not necessarily what the majority wants as it can oppress a minority.

  • EdW

    They can waste their money putting gay marriage on a state constitution ballet and then the Supreme Court can rule it discrimination and strike it down. If you want to eliminate discrimination, quit giving benefits to married partners.

    Overall, I think the Republicans have proven themselves to be pretty clueless – focusing on bills that would discriminate against Minnesotans, put forward tax proposals that favor out-of-state multimillionaires, yet can’t do the basic things like pass a budget. Absolutely no sense of priorities whatsoever.

  • Chuck

    I would lke Minnesota’s budget to be like North Dakota’s as well. Now if we can just find a HUGE SUPPLY OF OIL here, that should be very easy!!!!!! Let’s get on wqith what needs to be done and not this frivilous stuff. I thought the Republicans vowed to get government out of our lives, not more in to it.

  • Tom

    Why do we have elections if the GOP want the public too vote on everything before they decide. If they didn’t want to make the tough decisions then they shouldn’t have run for office.

    • Claire

      Come on tom, you can figure this one out. If they go the tried and true way of trying to pass a bill, old wild eyes will simply veto it unless its to his liking. No different than the WI Democrats who left the State to hol;d up a vote. Dont pretend you dont understand

    • johnjohn

      The issue is not that the Legislature is lazy it is the fact that one man that was NOT elected by a majority has the power to squash what HE does not like regardless of what the majority does. Putting items such as taxes and gay rights do deserve to be on the ballot as an amendment. If the majority of the people want it it should be so. Let it stand on it own without influence from the very, very few that have their own crazy ideas

      • WHAT?????

        So what you are saying is this is just like what TPaw did a record number of times. Let me repeat that, a record number of times. I did not see you crying when that was going on.

  • Pavel

    We need to get rid of these extreme Republicans. Even the Moderate Republicans in Minnesota would agree with that!

  • Governator

    How about we vote on raising the income taxes on millionaires and billionaires? What say you GOP???

    • hmm

      I agree. They are only putting things through that are popular on their agenda. People know that though. Their majority will last one term.

    • Claire

      Why not just cut govt waste. Ever walk thru your local courthouse? Standing around pushing paper. When you ask a question they act like you are bothering them and cant wait to push you back out the door. I think we can move out some of the trash as its building up in govt offices

      • Al

        Sounds like every business out there. Government or private.

  • Pavel

    Interesting the article states the “Budget stalled”. Why can’t the Republicans get their act together. They can’t even get agreement between the Republicans in the House and the Republicans in the Senate. Really sad!!!

    Who do these people represent? THEMSELVES!!

    • The other Bob

      The only reason the budget has stalled is that Gov crazy eyes refuses to sign the bill on his desk. Negotiations have to go both ways. When crazy eyes comes out and say I wont agree to this or that before the bill is even written he has given up on negotiation.
      They are forced to bring the rest of the agenda directly to the voters to get anything passed.

  • hmm

    I don’t mind a governor run around as long as the people get to vote on it. I do care about runarounds like how the healthcare overhaul was passed at the federal level through a loophole that labeled it a budget issue.

  • Tea Says...

    I have to agree…..the answer is SO SIMPLE!!! Let the PEOPLE vote on this stuff….then NO ONE can complaine!
    Welfare reform…..VOTE
    Govt Pay reform…VOTE
    Raise taxes….VOTE ON IT!
    It would solve the issue we vote for a person to take office on a platform they SAY they will follow only to pull a 108deg turn because they are on the take by big business….
    I am a “righty” for sure….and I think I would be safe to say EVERYONE SHOULD be happy with this option…
    OH…the only other thing we need to change…
    People currently on Welfare and Unemployment, or who are supported by the Govt can NOT vote on these issues!!!! It’s a TRUE conflict of interest!

    • Grrr...

      Why bother having a legislature then? I voted for legislators to debate, compromise, pass laws, balance the budget, and do the work that is demanded of them. With what is happening now, our ballot in 2012 is going to read more like a book! Pardon me for my pessimism, but your average voter is not going to take the time to make good informed choices in the voter’s booth. By then, the media spin machine, interest groups, and 527’s will have everyone so confused, they won’t know what’s even on the ballot. C’mon, do your job!

  • JB

    Considering that the democrats created this problem two years ago when they over rode the governors veto, why are the democrats not fixing this problem? Oh that is right, they were kicked out due to their fiscal mismanagement of this state. By law the legislature has to balance the budget, so let them negotiate with the governor. This is no different then when the democrats did this to Governor Pawlenty, just the shoe is on the other foot now. How many special sessions did the democrats force? so why is it so bad for the republicans to play by the same rules?

    • stace34

      We all created this problem. Including a Republican governor who rather than dealing with budget issues deferred them for the next guy. We all need to make sacrafices and no one is going to get everything they wanted. But the legislature was elected to do a job. So do your damn job. Your job is to fix make the necessary hard choices and fix the budget. Constitutional ammendments don’t do that, you do. Make the hard choices.

      By the way gay marriage has nothing ot do with the budget. It is conservatives in name only, certainly no in deeds, trying to marginalize a minority even more so than they already are. Nothing brave or nobel about that.

    • WHAT?????

      I would say the difference that you are talking about is that the republicans ran on 2 things this last election, fixing the debt we have and creating more jobs. When have you heard anything about either of these 2 issues since then? The few things that they are talking about now is not at all helping either of those things and to me (and a lot of others) this is just running around the issues that “we the people” voted them into office for. I am not saying that some of these things are good ideas, just saying what does voting on the right for gay marriage is not and will not have anything to do with the debt or any jobs. It is almost as they got in office and said that what they ran on is too hard to do so now they are just throwing in fillers to pass the time.

  • Frank

    If everyone voted for every change instead of elected officials we would still have segregation, possibly slavery, no equal rights for women, handicapped, or minorities. Maybe the conservatives want to remove the right to vote for women.

    Elected officials are to make intelligent decisions for everyone, not just their own little world. Ever notice how the Republicans talked about how the communists voted right down the party line? Now if a Republican goes against the party just once she or he is banned, excommunicated, and shunned.

    • stace34

      I agree with most of what you said, except these people are not really conservatives. It is a title that they like to use, but the definately do not practice what conservatives are really about.

      Hard choices need to be made. In order to balance the budget we will need a combination of budget cuts and raising taxes. There is no other realistic way to solve the problem. The problem here is if they make the right choices for the state they might not get reelected. They are more worried about their jobs and doing what their base wants than doing what they need to do.


    Exposing the Con in conservative.

  • HooDatIS?

    I have an ammendment it should be legal to take all the republicans senators and air drop them into libya and let the people of tripoli devour them

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