Esme’s Blog: Leadership Returns To Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sometimes leadership means having to say your sorry to your supporters and embrace a position that you deeply oppose in order to achieve a greater good. That is exactly what happened Thursday as Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders agreed to a budget deal to end the government shutdown.

Dayton deserves credit for being the first to make a move, agreeing to a June 30 Republican proposal of borrowing from future tobacco settlement earnings and deferring $700 million in school payments. Dayton then boxed the Republicans in by insisting on a series of conditions.

Republicans deserve the credit for accepting the conditions, which means losing language in bills that would create abortion restrictions, limit stem cell research and an across the board cut of 15 percent in the number of state workers.

Now, the question is what can be done to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Hosting WCCO-AM this week I asked both Republican Party Chair Tony Sutton and DFL spokesperson Kristin Sosanie about a proposed bill by Republican Representative Tony Cornish that would bar legislators from accepting paychecks in any future government shutdown. Both squirmed. And why shouldn’t they? Sixty-nine percent of Republican legislators are taking their pay and 64 percent of DFLers are.

Cornish has said he will introduce his bill during the special session. I think knowing from the start that their would be no paycheck if there was ever another shutdown might just mean the difference on whether history will repeat itself.

More from Esme Murphy
  • Ken

    Take a hard look at Wisconsin’s answer: Current budget and funding goes on until a new budget is set.

  • Esme's Blog: Leadership Returns To Minnesota « CBS Minnesota « Feeds « Church Leadership

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  • Steve Parsons

    While I think that it was outrageous for legislators, particularly the GOP ones, who played dog-in-the-manger to receive pay during the shut down, I question whether the reality of no-pay for shut downs will have any effect, given the low salaries that legislators receive.

  • richard

    This is amazing. A govenor who puts the people ahead of his politics. While I still believe the top 2% should pay at least as much of their adjusted gross income as I do (they pay10%, I pay 12%), I understand where the Govenor is comming from. The middle class will not forget the repubs protecting the top 2% nwxt election.

  • R T Lowe

    Do we suppose, the work force (laid off MN workers) could also get a check? Of course not. Why doe the Legislators think they should have their checks? I actually think We need to trim the roles in State government. Its is called Uni camel. Thanks Ex Governor Ventura for suggesting that several years ago. As far as the upper 2 percent of money makers in MN, ought to pay what every one else has to pay for State income tax.No loop holes or write off. GOP help us all. Or get out

  • StraycatStrut

    Seems like economic class warfare….. the high earning incomers do pay a chunk thru AMT income taxes. Minnesotians need to realize the WASTE the State puts forth… like refunds in Property Tax for those worth millions living on interest income paying high property tax they can afford… and MN issues refunds checks in Sept. Its crazy… we need to look past the Budget and kicking the can down the street all the time. Tighten the loopholes. Real leadership would Lead and fix problesms not just give good sound bites to get elected on the same old BS platform. This is where Dayton falls on his face for sure.

  • Inreality

    This entire budget is a joke. The proposed budget by the GOP was laughable at nearly a 10% increase, no reductions, no real reforms, nothing to make our state more viable going forward. The Taxinator Dayton said 10% isn’t good enough and wants more. Whatever this “compromise” turns out to be it will be harmful to our state and it will NOT show any leadership of any kind. Leadership is identifying root issues and then working to implement viable solutions and not pretending there are no issues and doing more of the same. We need a new crop of “leaders” in the legislature and a Governor who’s only experience is a self graded “F” as a Senator. Of course, with a state that has as much voter fraud as any place in this nation it is hard to trust anything our government does because we don’t really know how many of our election results are truly valid. Time to clean it all up and reduce government as much as possible. How any elected official can look us in the eye and say continuing to expand this already bloated budget is a positive for this state is something I can’t explain.

  • Underdog

    Legislators taking pay during the shut down should be ashamed of themselves when they put so many more people out of work. The chick-a-dee you interviewed this morning who claimed it was right for them to be paid since they were continuing to work should be fired, after all that is what would happen to any of us if we did not do our job during the time frame within which it was supposed to be done.
    The billionaires and trillionaires need to remember that they have their riches off the backs of the middle class, so pony up and pay your share, the rest of us do.
    The only reason politicians seek office is that their pay and benefits can’t be touched, how about if they get down here with the real world and try to operate on no money like the rest of the hard working public. They claim they’re there making decisions to make the State and people’s lives better, what a joke.

  • greystone

    I agree that Gov. Dayton has been put in very tough spots by the GOP who say they are thinking only of Minnesota. The current GOP leadership really should be ashamed of themselves for acting like this. You are our elected officials, you are to do what is best for us. You are not there for your own personal agenda or fame. Budget crunches are solved by compromise, not selfishness.

  • StraycatStrut

    Day 18 and counting from our fearless leader Dayton. No special sessions…. no done deal….. but at least the Summit Mansion is still occupied and funded by taxpayers dollars.

  • Tony Rozycki

    Rep Cornish’s plan makes sense to me too. There’s always room for improvement in the process. Try to keep it simple, logical & clear.

  • Barry

    why do we never hear, at any level of politics that they are willing to cut THEIR entitelments and medical or for that matter THEY pay in to the system that they freely get……..WE pay in to SS and medicare yet they call it an entitlement. I would think its an entitlement for THEM, as they do not pay into it yet recieve the benefits when they are done in office……I hope SOMEONE can clear this issue up for me, how about asking that to the politicians Esme?

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