No Budget Deal Makes Minn. Special Session Certain

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A special session for Minnesota state lawmakers is a certainty after the Legislature adjourned without a budget deal between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republicans who control the House and Senate.

It wasn’t known yet when Dayton would call lawmakers back to St. Paul. Failure to pass a state budget by the end of June would force a state government shutdown at the start of the Fourth of July holiday weekend, which threatens to leave no funding for state parks and highway rest stops along with many other state offices and services.

The House and Senate adjourned in the final minutes of Monday night, their constitutional deadline. All sense of urgency had drained from the session’s final hours, with Dayton and GOP leaders still mired in a stubborn dispute over taxes and spending that had kept the session in a holding pattern in recent weeks.

Dayton has said he likely won’t call a special session until he and Republicans reach a budget deal. He did not veto any of the Legislature’s budget bills by Monday, but was expected to begin doing so Tuesday.

“This is a shared failure on all our parts, the Legislature’s and mine, that we can’t reach resolution,” Dayton told Capitol reporters.

The basic dynamic is unchanged since the early January start of session: Dayton wants new, high-end income taxes as part of the deficit fix, while Republicans insist the state has enough money.

Republican lawmakers gathered outside Dayton’s office three hours before midnight to demand one last time that he sign their budget bills. At the same time, hundreds of state employee union members rallied in the nearby rotunda, chanting “tax the rich” and “we want to work.”

Outside Dayton’s office, Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch acknowledged the likelihood of a special session when she forecast what would happen if the deadline passed without a deal. “We will continue the conversation with the governor,” said Koch, R-Buffalo.

Republican leaders planned to fly around the state Tuesday to press their argument that the budget bills they did send Dayton should be sufficient.

Dayton’s office released a statement from the governor a few minutes after the Legislature ended. “I remain resolved that we will find common ground and compromise on behalf of Minnesotans,” Dayton said.

The only piece of the state budget enacted so far is a slender $76 million package for farm programs, which Dayton signed last month.

Dayton said he hadn’t considered whether he would call lawmakers back to St. Paul before or after a shutdown started, if there’s no budget agreement beforehand.

Dayton insists he moved toward Republicans a week ago when he reduced his proposal for new taxes by about half to $1.8 billion, raised mainly from a new tax bracket for the top 2 percent of incomes. GOP lawmakers said they already compromised within their ranks by agreeing to spend $34 billion, the amount the state is projected to collect in the next two years, even though some wanted a smaller number.

“I would have preferred to spend a little bit less, yes,” said Rep. Doug Wardlow, a first-term Republican from Eagan. “We have moved in the direction of the governor significantly — substantially.”

The governor held a series of private meetings Monday with legislative sponsors of the spending bills and the tax bill.

House Taxes Committee Chairman Greg Davids said his meeting Monday was “substantive” but didn’t lead to any breakthroughs on the larger disagreement. He said Dayton’s tax plan doesn’t have the votes to pass the Legislature.

“He can’t get the 68 votes. I know he can count to 68, but he can’t get there,” said Davids, R-Preston, referring to the number of votes to pass a bill in the House.

Dayton said he is open to alternative ways to bring new revenue into the state budget.

“But nothing that’s been proposed here in the last five months has come even close to raising that kind of money,” he said, referring to the $1.5 billion his proposed 10.95 percent income tax bracket would bring in over two years.

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

  • Bubba

    Greg Davids can say that the Governor does not have the votes to get things through the house, but the other side is they do not have the vote to override a veto. How much sense does it take to figure that out? It is a big game of chicken.

    • jimmy

      Peers the Republicans twittered away the session.

  • John

    Obvious ladies and gentlemen its time for compromise. Check the polls

  • Not Fair

    It’s not fair to tax the rich more than the poor.

    • ChrisM

      It’s a lot easier to make money once you have it. It doesn’t take much effort to deposit a $20,000 dividend check.

      • devildog3249

        Chris, if you go to college and get a 4.0 and I go to college and get a 2.0 I think its only fair we take some of your GPA and give it to me. So when we both have a 3.0 I mean isnt a 4.0 a little excessive? You dont really need a GPA that high. You should share some with the less fortunate like me.

        • BeenThereDoneThat

          Good one!!!!

        • Amanda

          But when you go shopping or dinning… more you consume, more you pay! so therefore, more you make, more you pay!

    • Mike W.

      It is more fair than balanceing the budget on the backs of citizens who are not able to afford it! This is another example of “class warfare”! Discriminate against the poor.

      • me

        Yeah, cause raising taxes on only the wealthy isn’t class warfare either. But you’re right, let’s go along with the liberal policy of punishing those who are successful so we can all be mediocre. I mean that’s what this country was founded on right? Mediocrity? And I’m not rich, not even close, but I don’t think we should punish success just because this state can’t live within it’s means.

    • Jeff

      It’s not fair to balance the budget on the backs of the poorest of the poor.

      • me

        Jeff, do youself a favor and actually see what poverty is. People in the US aren’t poor. Go take a look at the living conditions in any third world country. I’ve actually been to many of them and seen it with my own eyes. Despite what your liberal handlers tell you, people in this country are not poor.

      • BeenThereDoneThat

        The poorest of the poor don’t pay taxes.

  • Jacob

    I propose a one year tax hike on everyone along with cuts. Thats fair and everyone should be responsible, maybe then people would start keeping track of what these spend happy legislators are doing.

  • CES

    I think that for every day past their deadline, they should pay a penalty, not get paid to go to an extra session! Maybe then they will stop debating issues that don’t affect us all, (like gay marriage) and focus on the ones that do, like the budget!

    • A Voter

      Ces, you took the words right out out my mouth. They could also withhold a portion of their wages through out the year and when their work is done, and on time it would be returned to them.

      • devildog3249

        Gov. Dayton should lose his salary to then.

        • Amanda

          Gov Dayton is not receiving a salary in case you didn’t know that!

        • Nigel

          Governor is paid a year around salary. Legislators are not. Although you may not be able to figure it out, this legislature sure did not figure it our, but it should be possible to figure out the governor would veto a bill and you would need time to work it out.

  • marie

    ya, let theml livewithin thier means and notget paid totally agreed, than let them seehow mn’s are living day to day, job hunting ,ect… hit themwhere it counts and that goes for both parties!!

    • marie

      sorry space bar is sticiking

  • firefighter763

    If I don’t meet deadlines at work, I lose my job. The folks we elected into office blow their deadline and receive no penalty. (As they debated how much to tax me for working) BOGUS!

  • hoskerdoo

    Pass a spending bill that meets todays expected income. I am tired of my taxes being raised anytime someone doesn’t have enough money. Plus I don’t see any results from the Billions that we are spending. More poor people that don’t have food or shelter or medical. no change in education standards – continually rising tuition at state colleges and universities. Voters approved an additional gas tax a few years ago and the roads are still terrible. Spend what we have by keeping levels the same or cutting the waste.

    • Bubba

      @hoskerdo. There was 8 years of a republican governor named Tim Pawlenty. In charge of the spending, he in his 8 years came up with no waste. All of the commissioners of the state agencies were his. He appointed people to the metropolitan council. If that group of fiscal hawks could find no waste to trim. there must not be any.

    • IWonderIF

      @ hoskerdoo
      2 thumbs up on this one guy!

    • Give me liberty

      Right on!

      I really don’t understand the liberal viewpoint on this issue.

      No compromise. Budget should equal current revenue from current taxes. No increases, no new taxes, no new fees. The government needs to stop wasting other peoples money.

      Move to Europe if you want to live in a socialist state. We fought and won that war already. I can’t wait to see all your heads explode after the resuls of the next election. The Tea Party will rise again. Free markets, invisible hand, personal responsibility, SMALL government.

      • ???

        Give me liberty
        “The Tea Party will rise again.” Really?? That should be all that needs to be said on the intellect of the tea party. I did not know that they took a couple of years off or were they just on vacation? When did they rise before? You may be thinking of the South. In this case maybe you should move back there so we do not have to hear anymore of this stupidity. Are you the same tea bagger that said “get your government hands off my Medicare”? About the same mentality of just spewing out hate rhetoric and not looking into it yourself.
        Last thought is, it is so much fun hearing Dems and Repubs fight back and forth while the government does whatever they want. If you all would only realize that if you unite they would have to listen to you, but no keep yelling at each other like we are not all in this together and maybe someday you will win (that is complete sarcasm if you could not tell). I say give the independent party a chance and they would show you they are not jokes as they would not have big companies that they need to pay back for the millions of dollars in contributions that are given each year. Stick with your blind parties though and keep up the “best government money can buy” attitudes.

      • Walker

        Darn irresponsible old people get sick and don’t have money to pay for things. Ship em all to Europe, back wherever their ancestors came from. More free markets, The heck with regulations. Let us see how many more Petters, Heckers, Enrons, bank failures will happen. They are smarter now. Those things will never happen again. People won’t try to sell tainted products ever again. People are smarter than to drive faster than what is safe. They won’t drink and drive. Personal responsibility.

  • Touche

    We get our work done, why can’t you! When you do go into the – not so “special session” you should not get a paycheck, per diem or any other form of payment. This is not required overtome folks…you should have done the job when you had the chance for all Minnesotans.

  • MET

    Legislature blames Gov. Dayton for not getting the budget completed in time, but who are the ones who wasted time with the gay marriage thing…was that something that had to be done now?? I say ‘NO”. They are just trying to push their weight around. I didn’t hear that they made any attempt to meet Gov. Dayton half way on the budget. I heard one of them say he couldn’t believe the Gov would allow the government to shut down…well it wouldn’t only be the Gov. They would have to take their share of the blame as well.

    • Bob

      Did you not read the article. The legislators put forward a budget that increased from $31B to $34B. I would say they met him at least 1/2 way.
      The government has to learn how to stop spending !!!! Period. It is crazy.

  • Amanda

    But Republicans were soooo busy on social issues that they just forgot that they needed to work for the people that elect them… so now pay the consequences for electing them.

  • yep

    They can blame Dayton all they want. It is their own stupidity for thinking such partisan budget will get passed him.

  • William

    Rediculus Clergy brought in by the GOP, Constitutional Amendments? photo I.D’s……Can the GOP do what their elected to do? When gridlock occurs, isn’t it correct to look for compromise? Whay about the Vikings? , new stadium,= new jobs. Stop looking to get re-elected, because at this pace your going to lose the election.

    • me

      I agree! People don’t need ID’s to vote. So what if convited felonys votes in the last election. the Democrats won and that’s all that really matters isn’t it? If we pass that amendment, who’s going to tell all the dead people they can’t vote anymore?

  • Paul

    Why is it the the Republicans so closly resemble the Sheriff Of Nottingham from the Robin Hood Days?

  • James

    For all of the millions that will be spent on a useless amendment, the extra money that will be spent on a special session, the lack of a budget, etc. Republican’ts are wasting our time and money. Could we please vote these bozos out today? Shut the govt down till Nov 2012. FIne with me.


    T PAW WOULD GET IT DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sue

    The GOP knew from the beginning of the session what Dayton wanted to do yet they didn’t even look at the budget until 4 weeks into the session and waited until 2 weeks before the session ended to send their budget bills to the governor knowing very well that he won’t sign them and they won’t budge at all, well now we are going into a special session that will cost the taxpayers $33,000 a day which is wasteful spending to me that should be going to the state and not once did they cut their own salaries, per diem, or benefits no they only rely on the backs of the poor. I truly believe that they did this on purpose so they can pocket more money, they are paid very well for a part-time job to get the job done and they should be fired for not getting it done just like us regular folks. Well I hope Dayton sticks to his guns and shut the government down so these Repubs will feel the consequences and get voted out.

    • BeenThereDoneThat

      The reson the GOP was elected was ti reign in DFL spending. They are keeping to what voters wanted. Dayton on the otherhand wants to increase revenue by more taxes. Who are they defining as rich…a couple making 200K a year. When someone reaches that level..they have kids in grants and federal loans for them, they pay it out of pocket…have greater expenses for property taxes. Dayton never had to work for his money, so he cannot relate…just get it from the family. Has he ever had a job? Oh yea..he taught in NY for 10 mos. Let us stop punishing success.

      • me

        Agreed. Just another limousine liberal who cannot comprehend reality. He’d rather make other people suffer because he feels guilty about being rich.

    • Give me liberty

      One person (Dayton) does not have control in a Republic. Look up the definition of Tyranny. Dayton has budget on his desk, just needs to sign it. If the government shuts down this is on Dayton. Get a clue.

  • littletingod

    Here you go Minnesota. You voted for those GOP idiots whose only agenda are social issues and to shut down the state then try to blame Dayton. I don’t much care for Dayton, but I think the GOP has underestimated his steel. The people of Minnesota will realize their mistake in voting GOP next time around. Somehow the GOP got it in their thick minds that the voters wanted them to not negotiate to get us out of the hole Pawlenty put us in.

    • Naomi

      He showed his steel when he ran home from washington after 9/11.

      • re read the articles people

        He didn’t run home – he was already there meeting with his constituents. He just closed his office so the Minnesotans working there would not be in danger if there were more bombings. DUH

  • paulc

    This governor is a great illustration of the Democrat definition of compromise—-“Let’s compromise, do it my way.”

    • littletingod

      Just in case you don’t listen to the news or read the papers (which you obviously don’t), Dayton gave up about 50% of what he wanted. The GOP “negotiated” nothing away from what they want. I believe it is the GOP that is saying my way or the highway.

  • kevin

    Hey littletingod, The only thing dayton is giving up is your money if you work and pay taxes. He can’t see through his prosac fog that we in mn. ARE TIRED OF OUR TAXES GOING UP. It’s time he faces reality.

  • MJ

    I blame the fact that the legislature is not focusing on issues that effect everybody. When they had a deadline for a budget that effects the entire state, what did our reps and senators do? They focused on gay marriage – something that effects no where near as many people. That’s the best use of tax payer time? Something that could be debated next session… Now we have dip further into the tax payer pocket to finish the budget. I hope that the budget gets as much attention as that stupid, time consuming bill.

  • Captain America

    Captain America

    The state has a spendig problem, 34 Billion over two years is plenty, Daytons only goal is to raise spending while we all slip under the waves. Reduce corp. taxes plus reduce government spending plus get rid of Dayton = prosperity

    Go Tea Party

  • KMM

    they can get 1 week of overtime pay, then head to the cabin for the Memorial Day weekend. Just you watch. They will have it all wrapped up by the holiday weekend.

  • American

    All the whiners who want tax increases to take care of them need to put that energy into taking care of themselves. There are very few truly poor people out there and if, government did a better job of screening people for entitlements then we wouldn’t be in this mess.
    The union thugs need to quit whining too as most of them are over paid and under worked as well and that costs the tax payers millions. Instead of paying union dues to some big worthless do nothing union heads the line staff need to pocket the money themselves and ask for a raise when the feel they have earned one.

  • Tom D.

    If anyone re-elects anyone from this legislature, we will continue down this path of BS. We need to elect legislators that will WORK TOGETHER.. They need to put the STATE before PARTY.
    IMHO…we need a little of both sides to get out of this hole. We do need to reduce spending, but we need to, at least temporarily, increase revenues, too. Just like we do in the real world. My point is akin to getting a part-time job while working fulltime, and spending only on necessities UNTIL the debt is gone.

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