Budget Talks Pick Up As Time Runs Short

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Budget talks are picking up as Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republican lawmakers try to fix a $5 billion deficit with less than four days left in the legislative session.

GOP leaders met for about an hour Friday with Dayton and may return later in the day for more talks.

Dayton is also meeting with legislative negotiators for spending on public schools and state agencies.

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says the leaders asked the governor for specifics on his proposal to cut $1.8 billion in spending.

They oppose the other half of his plan — to raise an equal amount in new taxes, mainly from higher income taxes for the top 2 percent.

Republicans want to cap state spending at $34 billion over the next two years.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Joe Hanson

    Governor Dayton, shut the State Government down and show those Republicans that you can’t run the State with $3 billion more this biennium than was spent for the last biennium!

    • Why?

      Why do we think shutting down the goverment is an option? If you cannot ballance your home budget can you just quit paying bills, leave, and lock the doors until you do? The logic of both Dayton and the GOP is not sound.

  • CC

    If they would stop worrying about gay marriage so much and actually focus on issues that really DO affect us all, they’d have had this figurednout ages ago!

    • Tom


      Very True! I guess the GOP figured that if they got nothing else accomplished that at least they made the Social Consrvatives happy!

  • Jaqueatya

    Take it easy on those hardworking legislators. After all, look at all they’ve done for us this session. They’re proposing early releases for hardened criminals to get early releases back into your community so they can make room for people who make videos at puppy mills. They’ve voted to stop local police cheifs from reviewing gun permit applications from people who are mentally ill, or who had to settle for beating up their wives because they couldn’t get a gun legally before, but then they’ve also voted to allow any John Wayne wannabe or paranoic to putll out their weapon and blast away at anyone they think might be a threat to themselves or their property. They’ve voted to make it harder for the people who aren’t likely to support them at election time to exercise their right to vote, and make judges decide who’s competent to vote or not, They’re proposing cutting medical assistance so your parents with alzheimer’s can come and live with you and your kids when they can’t live alone anymore, and paying state employees unemployment instead of taking care of the state’s business. Who says they don’t have their priorities straight?

  • Not so true Jaqueatya

    – They did provide early release for some non violent drug offender crimes. They did NOT provide early release for HARDNED CRIMINALS. In fact they have expanded the definition of violent criminals that include domestic abuse crimes.

    – As far as puppy mills, yes they made them register with Animal Control (if they are not registered with USDA) and the Minnesota Animal Health. And no, I don’t see any such crack down that would require letting criminals go so that they can put multitudes of “puppy” breeders in our jails.

    – Gun permit laws do not allow domestic abuse criminals access to guns, where did you get your facts? You are so far off on everything you said. There was some modifications for mentally ill to get gun permits, yet it was aimed at preventing them from getting permits, it was not to allow them to get one as you say.

    – Yes they did make it easier to use lethal weapons to defend yourself in your home or not in your home. I do not like the law, yet I don’t think anybody will be strapping guns to their side threatening anybody who looks at them cross-eyed.

    – Judges do not deciding judges and will not decide who can vote or not. We always had voting judges yet their intent has never been to restrict anyone from voting other than Felons and non-registered people and such as that.

    – They have cut some medical services, maybe too much I think, and they cut Hospice care in some ways. As far as paying unemployment to laid of State employees, I regret they are and will be laid off, I support paying unemployment to them and anyone who has worked. Unemployment is supported by businesses who pay employees an income and is subsidized by State and Federal government in emergencies… they get paid back.

    • dog

      Kill all the offender’s. to make room.

  • god

    Keep every ones income taxs for next year. and Tax clothes. makes the RICH pay more! I pay taxs why cant they? Make churchs pay taxs. Stop giving money to none usa people!

  • Sue

    Hang tough Dayton don’t give an inch you have given in enough, let them make the next move or suffer the consequences. They say they want less government but they want the government to decide who can be married, who can and when they can have an abortion, who can vote only if they have ID, etc. well, the government should have nothing to do with that and their only concern should be balancing the budget and they can’t even do that.

    • dan

      What exactly has Dayton given? You say he has given enough, I am just not sure what he has compromised on? Please educate me

      • Sue

        Well Dan where have you been? Dayton has compromise by meeting them half way and even revised about his raising taxes on the rich where the GOP has done nothing except say nope, nope, nope, we are doing it all by cuts and it’s our way and we are not budging.

        • dan

          Again sue,

          What exactly has he done? Saying he met them halfway doesnt tell me anything. So how much was his original proposal vs what has he compromised down to? I really dont know, that’s why I’m asking

          • Sue

            He started out wanting to raise taxes on the top 5% earners which the GOP flatly said no, but has now said ok I’m willing to compromise and said that now he wants to raise taxes on the top 2% earners with more cuts in the budget and still the GOP has said no because they think they can do it all by cuts which is being unrealistic because what we need is more revenue along with cuts and the GOP has not budged from the beginning and won’t even look at possibly raising taxes.

            • dan

              Thank you. I wish we could do it all by cuts as we know the govt spends way too much money, but hopefully they can meet in the middle today!
              Have a great day!

    • Tom


      The GOP are the biggest hyprocrits! What they say they are about and what they actually do are two different things.

      • dan

        Yep, sounds like all the change that was promised in 2008. Wow, almost 3 years later and the job market is still in the toilet, foreclosures are coming in wave after wave, gitmo is still open, spent $700 Trillion for nothing. Oh I forgot, at least we pass Health Care that wont hit the wal until Obama has been run out of office.

  • Jim

    Mark Dayton was elected on his platform of getting the slackers to pay their taxes. Deal with it.

    • JB

      Jim, Governor Dayton is still proposing a double digit percentage point increasee in government spending, how is that compromise?

  • Naomi

    How bout they jack all our taxes for one year only and keep the cuts so we don’t get in this position again, that should give us a surplus. This with Daytons promise to cut funding to cities for funding unfunded liabilities like union healthcare and pensions.

  • yep

    Have the GOP compromised at all on anything yet?

    • Thomas

      Yes, they wanted a tax cut, Dayton wanted to raise taxes. Comprimise – no change in taxes.

  • Bill Hammes

    its all BS I can balance my check book

  • Lazy left

    I love all of you raise the taxes liberals knowing full well you don’t actually pay any taxes state or federal. Refunds are the word of the day then the people who actually produce should pay what you did not. The more I think about it the more a flat tax is needed all around. The producers use the absolute least services and pay the most for using the least. Paying more money for anything because you tried harder in in life makes no sense no matter how you try to argue it. I just can’t wait for the lazy left to actually have to feel any tax pain.

    • LOL

      What a laugh. And can we use your car? Those who want to raise taxes don’t pay taxes. What else can you pull out of your

      • Lazy left

        @LOL what was your income tax bill in 2010 that you actually paid and that was not returned under a refund? I’m pretty certain you are in the majority of losers who pay nothing.

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