ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders met briefly Monday, but kept a tight clamp on whether their private meetings have produced any progress toward a budget deal that would head off a government shutdown at the end of the week.

It was the fourth day in a row of meetings between the Democratic governor and the Legislature’s top two Republicans, Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. Monday’s meeting lasted less than an hour, after which the three emerged together and told the press: No details on whether the two sides have gotten any closer to erasing their disagreement over the size of the next two-year state budget.

“We can have a candid conversation. Everybody doesn’t have to watch every word,” said Dayton, referring to the arrangement as “the cone of silence.”

Dayton and the GOP leaders said they’d meet again Tuesday morning with other lawmakers and administration negotiators. The new state budget must be in place by July 1, meaning that state government would cease most operations after the clock strikes midnight Thursday into Friday.

Earlier Monday, the Republican leaders held a news conference and demanded Dayton call a special session so they could pass some budget bills that would prevent or at least soften the pain of a government shutdown. But, appearing with Koch and Zellers, Dayton said again he would not call legislators back to St. Paul until a full budget deal is set.

The Republicans had gathered in a park next to the Stillwater Lift Bridge, saying the span that links Minnesota and Wisconsin is the kind of vital state service that could close in a shutdown. However, shortly before they started, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said the bridge would likely stay open no matter what.

Republicans have been firm in their insistence that the state not spend more than $34 billion in its next budget, or the amount that state coffers are currently projected to collect over two years. Dayton wants another $1.8 billion or so in new revenue, mostly in new taxes on upper earners, in order to blunt what he says are unacceptable cuts to medical assistance, college campuses, transit programs and other government services.

While Republicans at the Stillwater news conference stuck with the joint vow to not disclose details of the negotiations, they returned to a message they’ve been hammering for months, that the state must cap its spending within existing revenue collections.

“Most Minnesotans are not seeing an increase in their family budget,” said Zellers, R-Maple Grove. “We think we should be able to prioritize within our budget and live within our means.”

A ruling was expected this week from Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin, who is deciding how a shutdown would be handled. Gearin is weighing who has the legal authority to continue critical state services.

Also Monday, Hennepin County — the state’s largest — sent layoff notices to 1,300 employees in anticipation of a shutdown. Most went to employees in the Human Services and Public Health departments, which county officials said provide safety net programs like food support, and services like restaurant inspection and disease management.

The Department of Transportation released word Monday afternoon that it had added the lift bridge to a list of core services it would argue should be kept up even in a shutdown. The department said the primary reason would be so that ambulances could get across.

Republican leaders, who’d been prepared to use the bridge as an example of the shutdown’s consequences, said they were heartened by the DOT’s announcement but that other bridges, road projects and many other services might not be so lucky.

“The message remains the same,” said Koch, R-Buffalo. “Governor, call us back, let us work on the bills on which we have near agreement. The shutdown is not needed.”

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

Comments (163)
  1. Joe Hanson says:

    Governor Mark Dayton, leading Minnesota to a Government shutdown.

    1. Jesse says:

      Koch and Zellers refuse to negiiate in good faith. They’ll destroy Minnesota to protect their top 2% masters.

      1. Jesse says:

        Koch and Zellers refuse to negotiate in good faith. They’ll destroy Minnesota to protect their top 2% masters.

        There I fixed it for the typo police

        1. George says:

          It’s difficult to negotiate with an irrational liberal whose policies will make the current fiscal problems worse.

          Better to let the government shutdown than to grow even larger.

          1. Mpls Girl says:

            Actually, most of the social spending, such as early childhood ed, sexual health programs, preventative health services, etc, proposed by the DFL curb costs in the long run. Also, their tax plan is closer to the structure that we had in the 1990s when we had a budget surplus. They are rational.

            1. Tea for you says:

              Not in these times – The republicans were brought in to get spending under control and they best get it down.

              Dayton is acting as though he needs to punish the upper 2%

              1. Gordon says:

                The proper analogy would be, and I will try to keep it very simple for you, to not spend money would you drive your car 75000 miles without changing oil?
                You might say you would. Mpls girl is correct.
                If the legislature was brought in to get spending under control, Dayton was brought in for what reason? There are still more votes for democratic party candidates in the last election. check out the archives if you can figure out how to.

          2. Fred says:

            The shut down will add a half a billion to the deficient. It will add 100 million per month to Hennepin county, it will cost the DNR 12 million a week. What are you talking about

      2. Joe Hanson says:

        Jesse, how can you say that? The negotiations have been private.

        1. Warren says:

          The same way you can say it is on Dayton for the shutdown.

          1. Dayton must go! says:

            It is Dayton. This state put republicans in to get a hold of spending and that idiot can think of nothing more than increasing the budget.

            1. Tom says:

              No it’s the Ex Republican Gov Fault were having these issues. he cut and borowed to balance his budged knowing he wasn’t going to be running for govonor again.

              1. TEA for me says:

                Liberal legislature Tom – Don’t be foolish

              2. JB says:

                No Tom, Governors canm not spend money they are not allowed to spend. It was the DEMOCRATS that over rode a balanced budget and spent us into this mess. A governor can only approve or veto bills put before him.

            2. A Voter says:

              The state of Minnesota realized that putting Republicans in charge was a big mistake and put Dayton in to keep them in line.

      3. Tea says:

        Bunk Jesse. Enough is enough with out of control spending. This is squarely on Dayton.

        1. ja says:

          actually it falls on past leaders not current ones, past ones are the ones that put us here, so put blame where blame is do.

          1. damn democrats says:

            You;re right. Damn democrats!

            1. CHESTER says:

              yes the fu$&*#^ rebublicans

  2. Tired of the GOP says:

    GOP leading Minnesota to a government shutdown

    1. Tea says:

      Indeed. I hope the GOP stands firm. Send some extra money in if you like

      1. CHESTER says:

        the shutdown will cost way more than you moron rebublican tea party commy right wing know so maybe you should pull your head out and comprimize now!

    2. Joe Hanson says:

      Mark Dayton heads the Executive branch. He, or people at his direction are the ones issuing memos to State employees and those receiving State funds about the shutdown.

  3. Not satisfied with either side says:

    As far as I am concerned they both have failed. They are just two billion dollars apart. Did you know that the shutdown is costing 1 billion dollars to implement? That is money that could have been on the table, but instead the state is required contractually to notify everyone that would be effected by the shutdown.

    1. StraycatStrut says:

      Once again….”Yard Signs” to endorse elected officials do not work in the end. No matter what happens…. the sides are wide apart. Dems are goofy in requests and idealogy… the GOP finally got something that works and the Govenor instead elected to walk in a parade on Sunday. $34 Billion is social welfare and state spending is not enough. 2 years from now it will be $48 Billion. Where to we find an end? Get’r done or lets find new people who can lead the state out of the hole created.

      1. Vern says:

        What do you base your 48 million figure on? The GOP budget proposals were flawed in many respects. From non grantable waivers, revenue from a miraculous economic recovery, punishing the disabled for being disabled, and political favoritism in LGA cuts. Get a clue and try some facts

        1. Paulie says:

          Hey Vern,
          I highly doubt that StraycatStrut is talking about persons with disabilities.Don’t be so narrow-minded. We all know what he/she is referring to.
          YOU get a clue! Go to the MMB website and look at how the State spends its money and then come back here and make comments like that.

          1. Vern says:

            You tell me where in the budget proposals there is any decrease in the amount they give to people that can work or further restrictions on those programs. You can not find it. There is nothing on the site about 48 billion. The GOP house caucus says that spending will increase by29% but there is no proof of that and they would have to include the federal money for roads, health care and various items of pork sent the states way. There is nothing there about the legislature’s budget either. The GOP targeted only the spending towards the disabled and elderly. There is no legislation by the GOP to solve the problems of what to do with the unfortunate sick and disabled (Different argument fixing that many of these people ate, smoked or by other means got to that point) There are other programs they want to cut like the equal rights department. The only cities and counties the wished to cut are St. Paul, Duluth, and Minneapolis. While you are it tell me how a reasonable person could expect to get a federal waiver when none has been granted, The GOP budget cuts are what is narrow minded, not me.

        2. Ignorance must be bliss! says:

          I was going to ask the same thing but then noticed something… you should probably not take the bait of the trolls and you can see that it has to be a troll if you are on a political blog and someone uses the phrase “Get’r done”. So sad that people think that you can be taken seriously while using broken English and words that are just plain made up. My name is again justified.

          1. Vern says:

            The sad thing is they posts erroneous, “facts”. The next one believes it and so on. A bit of truth would be nice. The hard part is when you post a reply it has to be fairly complete along with simplistic or they miss the point completely. It is strange that some resort to name calling when you disagree with them, or ask a question. Some females will call you sexist. Real strange are those that try to come up with some psychological problem you must have. It is a bizarre forum at time.

      2. Ogie Oglethorpe says:

        “the GOP finally got something that works”

        Doesn’t that depend on who you ask?

      3. KeithRichfield says:

        I hear the same old rhetoric, buzz words, talking points etc. Perhaps we talk about what we can cut. I have been Republican for 40 years, check out how Gov. Al Quie dealt with a financial crisis. I voted for him then and would do it again. It was tough, but there were a lot more quality jobs then. There nearly 200 departments, office ofXXXXXX, Board of etc in this state. Do we really need them all?? Corrections have exploded as a cost since the late 1990’s Inmate populations have more than doubled. Last time I checked crime is down, but there are some places in Minneapolis I don’t want to go unless I strap on my 9mm. Maybe we could consolidate, eliminate, or suspend some during this crisis. Remember as a country we are in a bad recession, some might call it a depression; some are calling it the lost decade. Most of the USA suffers. North Dakota does not it has oil extraction tax, Alaska does not suffer, same thing oil extraction tax and checks for citizens and a very small population to support. And some traditional poor states like Arkansas are doing ok, but provide sub standard services in national rankings. more to follow.

        1. Nelson says:

          I remember voting for Al Quie also. He was a better representative than governor. He had the same problem as Dayton does, a legislature that won’t work with him. Back then it was not as partisan.
          The boards and councils are serve a useful purpose. Many of them are appointees by the governors. No governor is immune from finding jobs for supporters, “volunteers”, etc. Pawlenty had 8 years to decrease the size of government. Not a peep of how to reduce the number of administrators which he had control of.
          Corrections are high because convictions are up, are you hinting there are things to decriminalize? Do not forget there are a few thousand sex offender in treatment that is not likely to ever work.

          1. keith says:

            Yes Al put on a temp surcharge on tax to fix budget, no one likes more taxes, but it was a fair way to fix the problem, everyone had to share the pain. And he did cuts to services as well. Many people in prison for a lot of different reasons, the list is too long for here, but we can get some back into the work force and still protect the public. Worst sex offenders stay in Moose Lake, never get out. The second more improved variety are moved to St. Peter where the bar to get out is quite high and monitored with an ankle bracelet. So not so much change there. But a lot of the drunks could be fitted with improved bracelets, and cars fitted with device that will not let car start if it detects alcohol— work jobs, pay taxes instead of costing us 40,000 a years to take care of them 24_7 Just one example. Some of these drungs are so far gone they fit in with the sex offenders, and locking them us is the only thing you can do. Then there is correctional Industries 40 million per year business, last time I checked, that is supposed to be making money, but they do a lousy job. They have raised their prices to a point where their sloppy management makes a profit. State government that buys from them pays inflated above market pricing, more or less a subsidy to correctional industries to operate. True name is MINNCOR Do cost comparisons on private business and make correctional industries compete with market pricing. Good cost accountants would find millions in savings. The state uses legislative auditors, they just verify the numbers a cost accountant would find the dirt. Some states actually start shaving years off sentences because they do not have room or the money to fund it. Decriminalize?? Not so sure there, some states are seriously looking a decriminalizing pot. Sniffing bath salts to smoking potpourri is the latest. It should be criminal it is worse than pot, but it is legal until we change it to become criminal. As our need for prison space grows we could use inmate labor inside the walls to help build the prisons saving millions in construction costs. We did this at Stillwater and St. Cloud years ago, but now the contactors lobby heavily on the legislators for the work, as they want to charge their profit.

      4. SK says:

        The number is NOT $34 billion, but $39 billion projected budget to provide the same services as the last biennium. There is a $5 billion deficit based on projected revenue. BOTH Dayton and the GOP are proposing significant cuts in services in their proposed budget – 8% and 12.5%. But Dayton says to cut the entire amount in services is too much and wants additional revenue of $1.8 . You CANNOT compare strictly $$ amounts from year to year – the population keeps increasing and costs keeps going up so, yes, the base $$ amount will go up each year. And we are in the midst of an economic crisis where more people need help. We also have the problem leftover from the Ventura administration where K-12 Education was moved from local property taxes to the general fund. Times were good and we had lots of money, but there was no long-term plan on how that extra, very large amount would be covered in the future. Ventura’s Finance Commissioner saw that there was a long-term problem and proposed a budget to help correct it. But both the GOP and DFL wanted to show Ventura he had no power and rejected this budget. The economists keep saying that this is something that needs to be fixed or we will continue to have big deficits each year. The $2 billion difference between Dayton and the GOP is small in the big picture and it should be split between the GOP and Dayton’s proposals and that is long overdue is getting done…..

        1. Downtown Deb says:

          SK – well said. You’ve debunked the GOP talking point that they are proposing an increase, so be happy. Of course expenses increase year over year. The population of the state increases, more people move into the senior categories and that increases state expenses.

          But by giving continual tax breaks, which reduce state income, this is similar to you or I having increased yearly expenses, but switching to lower and lower paying jobs. When I’m down to paying only mortgage, utilities, and groceries and still not meeting expenses – I’ve got to get more income. Not cut groceries, stop paying the mortgage, not tossing one of the kids out of the house to save expenses.

          Fed tax breaks have hurt as well. People complained about the 81% rate in the 50’s. There were not many that paid that rate. It proved to be an incentive for those with money to invest in businesses, start new ones, etc. instead of losing that money to taxes. That fed the growth, more jobs, more workers paying taxes for the state services they were receiving. Now there is no incentive for those with the money to invest in businesses, start new ones, etc. They can sit an stash the cash without consequence – except to the overall economy. Oh, but they are the ones we are supposed to be beholden to for creating new jobs. Sorry – economics 101 says we have a demand economy. The more money the workers have to spend (not wealthy to sit on) drives the economy. There is every indication the fed stimulus helped give the economy a bump and start a turn-around. But continue tax breaks, loopholes, and GOP be-holdings to ALEC are nullifying any further growth, except for wealthy pockets.

      5. CHESTER says:

        explain what works that the rebublicans have implamented ……………………………………………….Your right NOTHING !!!!~!

  4. fred says:

    most politicians are completely worthless. they are much more concerned with getting their corporate sponsorship, and the special interest group money grab, they have no time left to do their job. you can vote these BUMS out all you want, but they keep coming back…..only with different names and faces.

  5. Bill Clinton says:

    Mark Dayton makes one long for the days of Rudy Perpich. Never before have so few been able to do so much damage to a single state as the voters who supported Medicated Mark have. We will all be paying for the sins of a few. Mark Dayton is more proof that we need to have a test before people are allowed to vote. Everyone gets one vote. Pass a civics test, get another, the higher your tax bill, the more votes you get.

    1. Dr Tea says:

      Agreed! And Dayton should have been tested for mental stability. He sure doesn’t look like he has it.

      1. Ronnie for Governor!! says:

        It would so awesome if Reagan came back from the dead, he’d lead MN out of it’s @&%$hole that our “governor” put us in

        1. CHESTER says:

          reagan was an idiot that thought trickle down was a good thing IT HAS RUINED THE UNITED STATES !

    2. Ignorance must be bliss! says:

      Again the ideas of the GOP are trying to take away rights from the people. Your ideas go against what this country was found on and you say that Dayton and his followers are trying to destroy the state? You really believe that people should be able to vote multiple times depending on the money they make? You might want to read a little more before you start talking with the adults. Now back to the kids table with you.

      1. Tea for me says:

        What rights Bill? Be specific please.

        1. Jackie says:

          Why is it that people who support Republicans always have to resort to cheap namecalling?

          1. Tea says:

            It’s frustration Jackie. Reading liberals posts is quite depressing at how little savy they display. 😦

            1. CHESTER says:

              well TEA we hate your communist rightwing pigheaded we are the only one with a opinnion that is right additude You people have NO COMMONSENCE!

          2. Keith says:

            I agree, I have been a republican for 40 years, I like the notion of a slim well-managed government, unfortunately a few bad apples force us to have laws that prohibit certain behavior, and Government is the best solution that is apparent today. I see the party in a tailspin over the last 25 years. Now it is about their talking points, attaching to abortion rights and religion, name calling, and blame. I actually believe that many in the Republican Party would like to eliminate the Democratic Party and we had one party rule. Of course when the USSR did that the USA openly criticized the elections as a non-democratic socialist communist, Marxist etc.. A republican run country with no counter balance of the Democratic Party would satisfy many republicans. I suspect there would still be name calling as some republicans would just not be good enough and would be labeled with the new buzz word of the day showcasing why they are bad evil republicans. After 10 years of republican philosophy as it stands today, the rich would be richer and the poor suffering horribly, to the point where rioting on a large scale would happen.

  6. Citizen says:

    We will get to vote for the GOP legislators before we get to vote for Dayton. They’re up for reelection in 2012. I can hardly wait. The voters have short memories, so, no doubt, will take out their wrath on the GOP. I doubt when Dayton’s term is up the voters will remember anything. Plus, Dayton very well may not run again. Why should he spend his own money to try to help ungrateful Minnesotans by trying to fix T-Paw’s $5 billion budget deficit mess that he dumped on Dayton when he left office. Whether you are for or against Dayton or the GOP, the GOP is up for reelection first. That is Koch and Zellers reality.

    1. Joe Hanson says:

      We get to vote for POTUS too, an office currently held by Barack Obama.

      Should be an interesting election year.

    2. Dr. Tea says:

      Dayton won’t see the end of his term. He mentally unstable

      1. Darby says:

        So glad you have your Md to diagnose without seeing someone. Got a license to practice?

        1. Dr. Tea says:

          How did you know? I can actually diagnoss your low self-esteem from your post.

          1. Darby says:

            Your ICD 9 code of 317 shows through

  7. Sinclair says:

    The more you screw the voters the more educated they get. When they see neighbors houses foreclosed, when they see gas prices high, when they don’t have work, when they see food prices rising, when they see illegals taking jobs away while we educate their children on our tax dollors, when they see government telling them what they can eat, and what docter they can see, when they see taxes, fees, and healthcare rise, and finally when they see our debt as a nation rise above our GDP then they will get educated. That time is very soon.

  8. dan says:

    Shut it down. Time to call Dayton’s bluff!

  9. ku says:

    Listen up, Republicans. We voted you in to stop the crazy spending in MN. Don’t give in to Dayton.

    1. Sue says:

      Listen up Dayton, we voted you in to stop the crazy spending cuts to the rich, DON”T give in to the GOP.!!!!

      1. Sporty007 says:

        How about we work with the money currently in the bank – if we have 34 million to spend we spend 34 million – no more no less. We all have had to tighten our belts and live within our means – it’s time the state does the same. Increasing the tax burden on anyone will only delay the painfull cuts that will need to be made if not now than soon. We can not keep up wit the tax and spend motto that has been in place – sooner or later you will run out of places to tax. Settle this with whats there NOT with what could be there.

        1. independent says:

          We don’t have 34 billion in the bank. This amount is based on getting some federal funds that have not yet been and may not be issued. There will be deep cuts no matter what, but it will be worse if revenue, insome way or form, is not brought in, and this federal money falls through.

  10. Yeoman says:

    A fundamental change in what people want out of government is occuring because of debt and the independants of this state and of the country will be making the decision in 2012 on how we will procede as a state and country. The issues have become very clear and are reaching all people in the form of forclosures, jobs, inflation, debt, immigration, taxes, and healthcare. The dems and repubs will tray and make their case but it will be the independants that will make the differance.

  11. kevin says:

    How do you turn a dollar bill into 50 cents. Answer: send it to the mn. state revenue dept.

  12. pat says:

    Unitl the GOP can find a way to fund health care, we will be at a stalemate. Dayton, rightly, actually believes that the state has an active role in providing some basic safety net for ALL of its citizens. The GOP would defund medicaide and medicare programs i nthe state to help their wealthy friends. the GOP would abandon the schools, cities, and infirm to fund the few. Dayton won’t go for it.

    1. Pats same old line says:

      The medicade funding would be cut for family planning.

      1. Citizen says:

        Yet, the conservative posters here constantly decry the birth of babies to welfare mothers. Isn’t family planning supposed to help with the birth of unwanted children? Am I missing a contradiction in goals here?

        1. Citizen says:

          I know what the “final solution” for unwanted people was during WWII. Just as a point of info, I know what will happen if you get rid of Medicaid funding. The people without health insurance will just go to an emergency room. Someone will ultimately foot the bill and that will be increased insurance rates for those who do have insurance as health care providers cover their losses on the uninsured. This seems obvious to me, but seems hard for some of you people to follow cause and effect.

          1. Pats same old line says:

            Not hard at all Citizen. We have plenty of programs. MnCare, Meidicare, Medicade, SCHIP. Keep yapping.

            1. old nurse says:

              @ Pat, By your line to citizen I guess you practice what you chastise.
              Each program you mention fills a particular need, you don’t pick and choose which program. When there are cutbacks to these program, for example 7200 less for MnCare was proposed by the GOP, where do you think they end up going for health care? ER. Try working in an inner city one for a while.

              1. old please says:

                @ old nurse…

                1. True they are different in a way, but what Pat was trying to say was, “the taxpayer flips the bill in all of those programs, wether he/she likes it or not.”

                2. Should one social program be immune from cuts?? others might disagree, you may have to cut a little from each to meet the states budget.

                3. Inner City Circle, are you saying a small community does not no suffer the same problems??

                4. Sounds like your stressed out at work, try yoga

                1. Vern says:

                  Another amateur psychoanalyst I see. Citizen responds people with no insurance will go to the ER . Pat responds there are other programs (that are being reduced) That comment would suggest that Pat thinks those programs will pay for the day to day health care. They cannot for all in need if they are being cut. Old nurse’s comment would lead me to believe where she works is in an inner city ER. No comment was made about any small community hospital not having the sane problems. Logically you would likely see inappropriate of a busier ER than a smaller rural one.
                  Social programs need to be rethought. The hard part is that there are federal agencies, state agencies and local agencies all involved That makes it difficult to change. Society by law says that you can’t turn away people from an ER. Cost analysis shows it is cheaper in the long run to get people into primary care. Notice all the wellness campaigns lately by the HMOs. It must then also be cheaper in the long run to try to get people to take care of themselves

              2. Pats same old line says:

                I lived and worked in the inner city. My neighbors had one child after another. Cut the abuse and those needing the help will get it. Stop the welfare stream from Chicago.

          2. Get Real says:

            @ citizen

            You present a “MOOT” point. No matter what, no person can be denied medical attention, it’s a law. Whether it comes out of a social program or insurance, we all pay.

            The real question is, how long will you have to wait in line for medical attention??

          3. @ Citizen says:

            I’m sorry where did WW2 come from?? What analogy are you trying to make??

  13. KEVIN says:

    Citizen, I read your post from yesterday stating that “kevin’s back” and watch for the insults to come. Citizen, please read your own posts from last week spewing your insults to people that disagree with you. I now believe you really belong to the Netroots left wing dough heads. YOUR EASY TO READ THRUOGH. A complete liberal phoney. I don’t disguise the fact that I will chuck out insults. You on the other hand, chuck them out and think people will not notice.

  14. Citizen says:

    Okay. KEVIN. I will rest my case since your above post includes the insults of “dough head” and “phoney.” You cannot write without insults which is what posters resort to when they have no facts to back their position. You prove my point for me.

  15. KEVIN says:


  16. KennyG says:

    On this budget shutdown showdown, let’s remember a few things….

    First, we knew this was coming. We’ve known for 2 years. Ever since Pawlenty signed his last budget we’ve known this next cycle would be at a deficit of around $6B. Pawlenty didn’t raise revenue (taxes, fees or whatever you want to call them), he reduced government employee rolls, he delayed payments to cities and schools, and raided funds (those “accounting shifts”) that were set aside for specific purposes to balance the budget we currently have.

    That is fact.

    The deficit is what it is due to the programs and aid that we have in the laws that will cost more – and will have more people using them – in the next 2 years due to population growth and delayed obligations left over from Pawlenty’s last budget.

    That is fact.

    About 75% of the budget is dedicated to education (aid/funding to colleges and school districts) and human services – health care/aid to the poor (Medicaid, MinnesotaCare, nursing homes, programs for the poor, etc). These areas are really the only two areas where there is room to cut or otherwise reduce government spending to have any meaningful impact on the overall budget.

    That is fact.

    Dayton’s original budget plan called for raising taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans to cover the projected deficit. Dayton has said he would back down from his “tax the rich” only plan and agree to a plan that included some cuts to government services and aid as well as some tax/fee increases.

    That is fact.

    The GOP’s original budget of $34B included cuts to education and human services with no increase in revenue. The GOP has steadfastly maintained that they will not agree to any plan that includes tax/fee increases of any kind.

    That is fact

    Dayton has proposed a new budget implementing some cuts and some increases in taxes/fees totaling around $36B. The GOP has refused to revise their original $34B budget or agree to any of Dayton’s proposals.

    That is fact.

    Now, less than a week before the constitutionally-required shutdown, the two sides are finally talking (but is anything new being agreed-upon by them?). And that, in a nutshell, is why were are where we are today.

    1. Citizen says:

      Fact checking, here. Dayton originally proposed increased taxes on the wealthiest 5% of Minnesotans and then backed off (compromising) to only the top 2%. You also forgot to mention the GOP’s reliance on fantasy accounting that the federal government would provide an obligations waiver, which, I believe, has neer happened. Otherwise, well said.

      1. Reasonable says:

        No! It’s those goofy dems wanting to raise spending!
        It does sound silly doesn’t it?

        What it so interesting is that the spending increase isn’t new spending in terms of new programs or anything like that, it’s paying off things that Pawlenty agreed to put into the budget, but could only do so because he took federal money. Had he not been a handout grabbing lout, we wouldn’t be in this mess!

        But yes, every voter who voted for Dayton knew that it would likely come to this. But for all of those who wish that Emmer had gotten the nod, I’m really curious as to what that reality would be. We still HAVE TO increase spending to cover the gap that Pawlenty left. There’s no way around that. I’m just really curious how a full on (R) legislative and executive branch would do to reconcile that.

        1. Citizen says:

          @Reasonable. Voters want the safety of the parties split on power. Truly, voters do not trust either party which is why so rarely do we have one party in control of both branches of government. Too many special interests on both sides, too much money and influence on both sides.

          1. Reasonable says:

            I think you’re giving people too much credit man…

        2. Frank says:

          If every voter who did vote for a GOP candidate and would realize it would come to this how many would have voted for a democrat?. It is easy to see what the GOP executive would have done, they would have signed an even lesser budget without the fantasy proposals of a medicare waiver and inflated revenue predictions.

      2. Guy says:

        SO – what you are saying is that we need to cut even MORE to make up for the waivers that we won’t get. OK- I agree … cut it to a 32 Billion budget.

        1. Frank says:

          Learn to read Guy. The question asked early in the thread was what would have happened if there was a GOP governor with the legislature. No party position was taken. No position was advocated. I just speculated on the question. My stated opinion is that the state could save a lot on education as there are a clear number of posters here that the education was wasted.

          1. Guy says:

            I do know how to read. Maybe YOU should learn how to UNDERSTAND a THREADING system – my comment was NOT to you – it was to “Citizen”‘s June 27, 2011 at 9:38 am posting – see the INDENTS. It was an entiry DIFFERENT BRANCH of the conversation. Just because it is PLACED after yours does NOT mean that it is a reponse to yours.

            1. Frank says:

              Learn to read, Citizen’s comment was derogatory towards the waivers and would in no way hint of cutting further.

    2. Chris says:

      So if they are asking for only $34billion this year (2 yr period?)… What did they have last year? Less I am sure… They always start with a large increase and call it a budget… Why don’t they just say, “last year’s cost plus 10%”? Gotta love the state’s method of managing finances… Same applies to school districts… What ever happened to just telling us what they NEED without increases?

  17. Just sayin' says:

    It just amazes me that Dayton is the minority here….the GOP legislators are the majority….why shouldn’t the GOP have the say here. The majority of voters here in Minnesota voted the legislators into office because of the terrific dislike and retaliation of the Obama regime in Washington. We saw that all over the nation last election. Majority rules……..Since when did the rules change?? One minority figure vs. the majority voted in by voters. Why does he think he can possibly hold on and not expect citizens to question his thinking??

    1. mettahu says:

      When the shoe was on the other foot and the Democrats controlled the legislature, did the GOP just let the Democrats have their way just because they were in the majority? No, of course not! It’s a little bit more complicated than that.

    2. CHESTER says:

      NO you voted in rebublicans NOT ALL OF THE MINNESOTANS some of us were smart enough to vote in democrates !

  18. Citizen says:

    @Just saying’. The rules have always been there put in the U.S. Constitution by our founding fathers who had the incredible intelligence and foresight to see just this type of situation–they are called CHECKS & BALANCES. In a democracy the minority are not at the mercy of the majority, hence, the vetoing power of the executive branch of government–our Governor in Minnesota, and our President nationally. Please read your 9th grade civics text again. Dayton’s position was a tax increase on the wealthy, he was elected governor, and he is fulfilling his campaign promises with his vetoes. The GOP legislature signed a pledge to Tony Sutton, the GOP party chair, that they would not raise taxes. Tony Sutton is not an elected official and has no accountability to the taxpayers of the State. I think that pledge should be illegal because of that, but that is the platform the GOP is standing on.

  19. KEVIN says:


    1. Lorne says:

      You don’t always get what you want. Dayton understands that by being willing to shut down the government. Does the GOP? At least there were no insults in your post this time.

    2. StraycatStrut says:

      He still has 4 days to get over his binge……. he’ll awake then and sign the bill. Its good to see him staggering down the street in the parade Sunday.

  20. Citizen says:

    It isn’t shut down yet, KEVIN. You can repost your all in caps comment this coming Friday.

  21. Citizen says:

    Just to let you know, KEVIN, Minnesota government isn’t shut down yet. You can repost your comment on Friday.

  22. ja says:

    maybe if they would stop hiding money the state has would be nice for a change.

    1. Charlie says:


      Like Dayton hiding his billions and not paying any (very little) tax?

      If that is the “hidden” money, let’s get after it already!

  23. Alan says:

    Why is it people to post something and need to throw insults and name call in their posts? Are we a state of juvenile mentality?

  24. kevin says:

    Lorne, I like the being of your post. “You do’t always get what you want”. And an old rock and roll song finishes with “But if if you try sometime you get what you need.” No raise in taxes . STOP THE SPENDING. Hey Citizen- no insult. Can you admit to yours last week? I did.

    1. Lorne says:

      And you by saying no raise in taxes totally miss the point of both sides not getting what they want..

  25. In defense of citizen--what? says:

    Citizen, I’ve read a lot of your posts–hard not to when you’re splashed about in such concentration. I actually have to defend your reasoning but not your debating style. I have gathered that you’re a retired, independent (I) that slants to the left. You’re probably agnostic–or at the very least, know that religion should never intersect politics. A history buff too. You’re a family guy and probably a good neighbor to those that agree with your beliefs. For those neighbors that don’t–your’re probably the guy who knows exactly where the property line is. That all said–which is all good–tone it down. Nobody here wants babies to go hungry. We do want the mothers to understand that systemic redundancy in their behavior is not appropriate/responsible. Whether that be– to keep having babies or not doing anything to improve their situation. Oh, you may need to stop with the immigrant thing. I’m not an immigrant–I’m Minnesotan–I’ve never been to Germany. A definition was thrown at you a couple times that sums that up. I also don’t owe any reparations to the descendents of slaves. I never owned slaves. Okay? Now, back to the shut down debate—green light.

    1. Citizen says:

      @In defense. You are so wrong about me! It’s pretty funny. For the people who read this and know me, don’t fall out of your computer chairs from laughing too hard. I don’t have to tone it down one bit. In fact, I think I’m being pretty nice considering all the way-out-in-space comments by right-wing zealots who post here who hate gays, liberals, welfare moms, disabled children. I’ve read the negative comments that just trash these people. Stop with the immigrant thing? Why? We have drugs coming into the U.S. because there is a demand. We have prostitution because there is a demand. We have illegal immigrants because there is a demand for their labor by U.S. companies. Immigrants are the new slave class. I’m glad you’ve read my posts. Perhaps by osmosis you will learn something–doubtful. But there is always that hope and change thing…

      1. non-citizen says:

        Well, I tried. I was giving you the benefit of the doubt. You are just as a@&.

        1. Citizen says:

          And you are an intolerant control freak experiencing delusions of competency.

          1. non-citizen says:

            Get that last word in! Mine for you is: Bored.

            1. Citizen says:

              You must be one of those 2% facing increased taxes.

              1. non-citizen says:

                $5,000 short. Maybe next round.

      2. Ogie Oglethorpe says:

        “We have illegal immigrants because there is a demand for their labor by U.S. companies.”

        I disagree completely.

  26. Ferris Lind says:

    It’s funny . I was on a bus last week in downtown St.Paul and several people on the bus were talking about wanting a Gov. Shutdown . Yet the bus had to stop several times cause of road construction and the same people started yelling about how they’ll be late ….

  27. upset says:

    I am upset to think that Mn can’t be number 1, ahead of Vermont, in taxes!! Come on DFL– Get us up there to #1!!!!!

  28. Citizen says:

    So, to respond to all the posters who think other states are better to live in than high-taxed Minnesota, here’s what the BBC News has to say about Alaska:
    The author and serious student of America, Anne Applebaum makes the point that, as she puts it, “Alaska is a myth!”
    People who live in Alaska – and people who aspire to live in Alaska – imagine it is the last frontier, she says, “the place where rugged individuals go out and dig for oil and shoot caribou, and make money the way people did 100 years ago”.
    But in reality, Alaska is the most heavily subsidised state in the union. There is more social spending in Alaska than anywhere else.
    To make it a place where decent lives can be lived, there is a huge transfer of money to Alaska from the US federal government which means of course from taxpayers in New York and Los Angeles and other places where less rugged folk live. Alaska is an organised hypocrisy.
    Too many Americans behave like the Alaskans: they think of themselves as rugged individualists in no need of state help, but they take the money anyway in health care and pensions and all the other areas of American life where the federal government spends its cash. ….(and farther along in the article)…
    America’s two main political parties are so desperate to raise money for the nation’s constant elections – remember the House of Representatives is elected every two years – that they can do nothing that upsets wealthy people and wealthy companies.
    So they cannot touch taxes.

    1. Kitty says:

      You are so out of touch with reality, are you in prison?

      1. non-citizen says:

        I know. Today’s my day off. I gotta plan my pilgrimage from MN to Alaska–cuz that’s relevant and…the most likely final destination of a retiring, disgruntled, or re-locating Minnesotan. Well, I better hop in my beamer, plan a day trip of throwing cash out my window like it’s a parade—“put shoes on their feet” blaring from Bose system.

      2. Citizen says:

        Out of touch. Kitty, you must have missed a previous discussion about how Minnesotans should migrate to better, less socialistic states–Alaska being one of them. Sarah Palin’s Alaska. You know Sarah, of the tea party anti-socialists. Same as Bachmann. You gotta move fast to keep up with how quick those right-wingers change their stories.

        1. Kitty says:

          This is why I am against computers in prison. They abuse them. They should be limited to yard exercises and therepy.

          1. Citizen says:

            Very constructive comment, Kitty. Really adds information to the discussion and highlights your intellectual prowess.

          2. Mary says:

            Kitty, you made our day.

            1. CHESTER says:

              HERE KITTY KITTY what prison are you in let us know so we can have ALL privilages taken away !

      3. Out of touch says:

        Kitty, Citizen is an Indian…an actual native American and a former government worker. Funny thing is i’m acquainted with some Alaskan Indians. Citizen and the folks I know sound similar. When you put him in context, his comments make a lot of sense.

        1. Kitty says:

          I see, on the government dole all his life, doesn’t know what it is to have a real job. I guess in a sense that is prison, and now finally released after a lifetime on the inside. Its tough I’m sure to try and assimilate into a free society with personal responsibility and understand the real world.

          1. Citizen says:

            Yes, Kitty, this former government worker helped keep you secure from terrorists. Why, I’m sure I don’t know after reading your ignorant posts. Just remember, U.S. soldiers are also “on the dole” as government employees protecting your right to post filth and garbage about the government and its employees.

            1. kitty says:

              I also worked for the government until I was told to slow down, we’re in no hurry here. That was at the bureau of engineering state of minnesota. And please do not attempt to put military in the same group as a minnesota state worker please.

              1. Citizen says:

                You were state. I was federal–a lot of difference, Kitty. No matter how you trash talk it, soldiers are federal employees “on the dole.” Your words.

              2. Reasonable says:

                A pal of mine who is a useless state worker authored the plan for the entire state RE: what to do in the event of a terrorist attack on the water supply. Mostly what to do if the attack was of a chemical nature on the Missippi River.

                Your tax dollars poorly spent indeed!

                1. Citizen says:

                  Reasonable, was the plan to have you taste test the water? Just wondering…

            2. Vince says:

              Who the h to you think you are Jack Nickelnuts ” You want me on that wall, you need me on that wall……….”

        2. non-citizen says:

          Ahhhhhhh. Now that says it all. We OWE citizen. I get it. I gave him WAY to much credit. Thanks out of touch guy.

          1. Citizen says:

            Yep. You owe every soldier who keeps you safe so you can post your nonsense. You owe every government worker who will provide you with your social security income every month and pay your Medicare bills. You owe those government workers who keep your roads repaired and put out the fires at your homes and rescue you from a car accident. Yep. You owe.

            1. non-citizen says:

              Yep, I do thank them. Just not so hell-bent on thanking the politicians, that’s all.

            2. Mark Too says:

              Yes we do owe soldiers who keep us safe a huge “Thank You”. I seriously doubt anyone posting or reading the posts will argue that.

              Do I owe government workers the same gratitude? When they do their job well, perhaps. What I don’t owe government workers is a blank check. What I do owe them (and so do all tax payers) is the right to hold government employees accountable for their job performance. Bottom line, they should be no different from any other hard working employee in the private sector. If you do your job well you get rewarded. If not, you get REPLACED.

              1. Harold says:

                We don’t owe (non military) federal workers jack. We pay them for a job we gave them at our pleasure. We also gave them a pension and all the other benefits.

  29. Bob hanson says:

    Racino needs to be part of the solution ! Don’t raise taxes and than not take the Racino money ! The tribes have them paid off !

    1. George says:

      The LAST thing the state government needs is more money.

      No Racino. No new taxes.

      Reduce the out of control spending.

      1. Reasonable says:

        Your buddy to the east has a state budget almost TWICE the size of MN. Who has out of control spending?

  30. kman says:

    Republicans need to make a deal with Dayton and Prevent a shut down.seems the Last Republican Gov won’t take Owner Ship Mr No new Taxes T-Paw.MN is Tired of the Republican Answer how to Balance the Budget cut Taxes for the Rich and Raise them on the Middle class or just sliding them off on the County’s and make them Raise Taxes.Figure it out we want this worked out Before the Republicans get the Vote on Who civil Rights they seem to want to Play God with

  31. Reasonable says:

    I’m almost willing to agree with this “Shut ‘Er Down” nonsense, if only so that the shortsighted who are excited about the notion can see what the govt actually does for them. Need to get new tabs, new boat license, your kid hits 16 and wants to take the driving exam, want that pothole fixed on your block, etc…? Well, good luck with that. This is what you wanted because you want to protect the interests of what, 40,000 of your neighbors at the cost of more than 3,000,000 of them?

    1. Guy says:

      How about we GET RID of most of those things completely. Get goverment OUT of our lives. Get rid of tabs; get rid of boat licenses. SMALLER goverment SMALLER taxes.

      1. CHESTER says:

        ya guy and you probably want to get your license out of a box of craker jacks ! be my guest to leave Minnesota since you don’t like to pay for anything Wisconsin has an a&& for a govoner he would really like you please move there!

  32. Out of touch says:

    I’m actually looking forward to a shut down. Kind of how a big snow storm is hyped way up. I know it is not right to say this but I feel so many of the government workers have unjustly earned a living and/or a much better living than is appropriate that even if they get back pay, they will at least be inconvenienced and hopefully feel even a modicum of something similar to what non gov workers have felt for years. I can’t even tell you how many I have met that freely tell you that they work slow as a rule not the exception then go on to brag about their fantastic retirement and medical benefits.

    1. Out of touch is way off base says:

      Not sure who you have talked to but that is so far from the truth it isn’t funny. The folks I work with are some of the hardest working and most dedicated workers I know. You must be a uneducated out of work construction person who never worked hard enough to pass algebra. the average educational level of most State jobs is a Master’s degree on up. My advice to out of touch is stop complaining about state workers and go back to the books to learn what youshould have learned decades ago.

    2. Ogie Oglethorpe says:

      State Parks alone will (or would have) brought in a half million dollars this weekend alone. No big deal though, right? As long as you can teach someone a lesson so they “know better” and don’t cross you in the future.

  33. another citisen says:

    We have had a repulican govenor for the last eight year’s that messed it all up, and their still messing it up, what they need is the BOOT.

  34. non-citizen says:

    Stupid politicians! Got in your cars and drove to Stillwater–to stand at a bridge for a phot-op–to whine that you need more time. Nice. Bravo to brilliance. We’re taking names.

  35. DARREN says:

    If you want to pay more in taxes, whomever you are, I can get you the address for the Department of Revnue for the State of Minnesota.

    I know I don’t care who it is, we are all over taxed. NO MORE TAXES ON ANYONE!!!!

    1. CHESTER says:

      darren where is the money to come from to pay for the programs and rebublican special projects maybe you would like to pay for them with all your extra money ? our we can increasse some taxes and fee so we all have to help some !

      1. Ponder says:

        and when will the increases end? Just curious

  36. legalize pot says:

    We can save money on Corrections by ending the war on drugs and legalizing marirauna. That will definitely empy out the correctional system and would enable the state to tax the hell out of Mariruana.

    1. Guy says:

      We can save even more by just leaving the doors locked & shutting EVERYTHING down. Come back in a couple months with body bags …

      1. CHESTER says:

        it will cost twice as much if we are shutdown the rebublicans need to starrt negotiating in good faith and stop being spoiled little brats!

  37. Issuepemn says:

    watch ipod video from car stereo

  38. Damn the GOP says:

    Everything the GOP said during their way to the capitol was “No new spending!” Yet as a sat and watched those individuals for 4 months do nothing but produce more debt in what they now say” necessary changes to better a broken system”. What a flipping joke! I work very hard to pay taxes so that this state can function, why do the those that make “more” money then 98% of us whining about having to pay a share that would help everyone? Is it because they don’t go to church or something? Idiots!

    1. Naomi says:

      Mellow out, have a cookie and enjoy the GOP. You will learn,

  39. Kevin says:

    Soak the rich! Thats cool….but then CUT>>>>CUT>>>>>CUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Say goodbye to welfare fraud…..immirgation welfare……etc…….

  40. Ron says:

    I say fire all of them take the cost of the shut down out of there pockets. they are acting like school children. Grow up and do what is right for the people. like it should be. BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE!!!!! This concept has been lost by people more interested in money in there pocket then what is best for the public!!!!!!!!

  41. Mark "F" Dayton says:

    It’s all or nothing? Hey Mark, that’s an “F” if you don’t turn in any work! You don’t get partial credit for nothing! Guess that’s why you graded youself an “F” in the last role you played. Fail Dayton…a pattern of “F’s.” The blame for a “total” government shutdown should fall solely on you. But I’m sure you’re supporters are too blind to see that the other side has been saying to pass what you both agree on! Way to be stubborn and shoot for another “F.”

  42. Citizen says:

    Here is an excerpt from the Dismal Political Economist website:
    “The Boston Globe has a lead story in which it reports that
    RomneyCare’ — a revolution that basically worked
    The former governor’s health plan is a policy piñata among his rivals. But a detailed Globe review finds the overhaul has achieved its main goals without devastating state finances. The remaining worry is future costs.
    This cannot be good news for a campaign that wants to say it won’t work for the rest of the United States. Sorry Mr. Romney, sometimes you just cannot help but do something right.”
    So, it has been done (and by a GOPer, no less) and Minnesota could use it for an example to cut costs and fix MNCare etc.

  43. The real Tea says:

    I had a thought….How many people owe the State of MN taxes? And how much?

    Let’s forget party lines…income…and all other BS…..

    I have an idea…..Let’s get the people that owe taxes to the State of MN to PAY THEM!!!! BOTTOM LINE!!! Work on a Federal Level to garnish wages! If you don’t like it you can LEAVE the US!!!! But if you owe taxes…..the state (and Fed for that matter) can start taking it out of your check…..if you are not working…you do NOT get welfare, unemployment, or ANY OTHER assistance!!!


    If you do NOT pay the taxes you have…you do NOT deserve to be here!

    Who CARES about income….or political sides….

    Let’s get the people who OWE taxes to pay them….BOTTOM LINE!!!

    Does anyone have a figure on what that amount would be? I do not want to quote a number I can’t back….

    Why raise taxes on the people who PAY THEIR TAXES!!!!!

    Time for the people who PAY their taxes to be rewarded for that by NOT raising their taxes…

    Just like credit! People that pay their bills should get a BETTER rate than the people that do not! WHY SHOULD THIS be ANY different with taxes!!!

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