ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Republican-controlled Minnesota legislature is sending Democratic Governor Mark Dayton the biggest spending bills of the year Wednesday, daring him to veto the measures.
The two sides cannot reach agreement over how to fund the government for the next two years, setting up a possible special legislative session.
Republicans say they are frustrated by the slow pace of negotiations with Gov. Dayton, so they’re passing the entire $45 billion dollar budget and sending it to the Governor — take it or leave it.
“We hope this will let him know we are serious about getting the state’s work done on time,” Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt (R) said. “And the legislature is committed to getting the work done on time.”
Democrats and Republicans are so far apart on spending priorities, it is becoming more likely they won’t finish by their May 22 adjournment deadline. Gov. Dayton says he won’t accept a single one of the bills they’re sending him.
“I will veto them all,” Gov. Dayton said.
Complicating the end-of-session strategy: The Minnesota Senate — which Republicans control by one vote– could not vote on budget bills because one member was absent for a family emergency.
There is a very high likelihood the delays could push lawmakers into a special session — even a possible government shutdown on July 1st.