ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Legislature has sent a full set of budget bills to Gov. Mark Dayton.

The Senate finished passing its last three budget bills Thursday afternoon when it approved funding packages for environmental programs and parks; highways, roads and transit programs; and higher education. The House approved its last few budget bills earlier Thursday.

The budget bills total $34 billion in state spending for the next two years. They were assembled by majority Republicans and got nearly unanimous opposition from legislative Democrats, who say the cuts and reductions to state spending target vulnerable groups and would put pressure on local property taxes.

The bills are on their way to Dayton’s desk, but he has strongly hinted he’ll veto them since he and Republicans have not reached an overall deal on spending and taxation.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (73)
  1. Citizen says:

    Stand strong, Governor Dayton. Force the GOP’s hand, make them have to call a special session to get the work done they should have been doing while they were pushing their social engineering agenda. Sooner or later when you give people enough rope, they do hang themselves!

    1. Sue says:

      I couldn’t have said it any better, you took the words right out of my mouth. Hang in there Dayton and don’t give in anymore not even an inch.

    2. Tom says:


      I will give Dayton an A for effort but he his wasting his time. He will feel that he is talking too brick wall. The GOP “view” that lower taxes creates job growth has never worked. If they believe it does make them prove it. I think it has gotten to a point that being they have said it so much they have convinced themselves it will work.

    3. Cancer Patient Volunteer says:

      Most Democrats Work for the Government, so they Dont Understand the Following:
      Fact: you cant have a balanced budget if you dont cut spending
      Fact: better business climate (lower taxes) creates jobs
      Fact: when companies make money they pay more in taxes
      Fact: when companies make money they give back to their workers
      Fact: since minimum wage increased, less jobs are being created
      Fact: if we had more jobs, we would have less crime

      1. Go dtink more Koolaid says:

        Prove your facts
        Raise revenue you can balance a budget
        The taxes went nowhere the last 8 years good times and bad and the business climate here did not change. If there was substantial business growth under Pawlenty would he not have that at the forefront of his campaign.
        Technically you are correct that if the companies make more money they will pay more in taxes but the republicans talk of lowering the tax rate for business so the state would take in less revenue.
        The companies that are making record profits have given nothing to the workers, only the executives.
        You can’t live on minimum wage now, why would you want your growth area to be minimum wage jobs?
        If the jobs were minimum wage how would that change the crime rate

      2. lefty says:

        that cancer most have affected your little brain everything you said is nothing but gop bull lower taxes create no more jobs company’s do not pay more taxes they sure do not give more back to workers so please go have your problem looked at

        1. Southern MN Mom says:


          YOU SURE ARE lefty!

          Wow! You didn’t use a single period in your incoherent rant! Mom thinks a quote is appropriate here-

          “I had some doubts about your intelligence until you opened your mouth.”

          Winston Churchill

  2. wtdbuck says:

    they ran on jobs and all they want are their pet programs. no gay marriage. what the hell does one have to do with the other. what a bunch of phonies.

    1. The Guy says:

      We are at 7% unemployment and job availability is up 31% this year. I gues you are just chosing what to know.

      1. Bg says:

        Yes, but what jobs? Minimum wage burger flipping?

      2. Good Ol Boy says:

        Unemployment going down is very often a misleading statistic.

        Is it down because more people have exhausted their maximum benefit, or because fewer people are filing claims?

        1. The Guy says:

          That is true but like I said, Job availability went up 31% this year since January and our unemployment rate just hit 6.5 or 6.4% yesterday. It’s probably a mix but that is still much better than most of the country.

  3. wtdbuck says:

    The vouchers proposal is part of a combined House and Senate education bill that would spend about $14 billion, or about 40 percent of the state’s two-year budget. Dayton had asked for a bill that contained only budget items, but the House and Senate included several changes to education policy.

    is this creating jobs. what a bunch of phonies.

  4. Captain America says:


    Nice touch lefty, Dayton is out of touch and should start cutting spending as the train is on the track and as usual he will get left behind. Daytons priority was a stadium for the Vikes, thats prioritizing? We are taxed enough and the state has a spending problem. Taxing the so called rich will tax many small businesses hurting them and our economy. The state is bloated and needs a trim.

    1. Citizen says:

      @Captain America. Same old argument ad nauseum. Please come up with some new spin or quit posting.

    2. Claire says:


      We are already the 12th highest tax state in the union, but lets raise taxes because we cant control spending.

      1. Reasonable says:

        The 12th highest taxed? Oh my top 25% in taxes in the nation. Where do we rank in quality of life? Top 5%. Income? Just below average. Education? Top 10% Job market? Top 10 in the nation.

        Shall I continue, or are you starting to see that taxes result in a community benefit that far supercedes you having an extra $200 in your pocket every year?

        1. Stu says:

          I’d rather have to $200

    3. Monger says:

      If you run a s-corp small business and are making more than $250,000 a year, you should fire your accountant. You can write off everything from office supplies to to your automobile. The only s-corps making that kind of money are doctors and lawyers and even if you lowered their taxes to nothing, they wouldn’t hire anyone new.

      The only only jobs rich people create are butlers, maids, pool boys and gardeners.

      1. The Guy says:

        Monger “The only only jobs rich people create are butlers, maids, pool boys and gardeners. ”

        That is completely untrue. Although I myself am not a rich person, I am related to a few as well as worked for a few rich small business owners. Most small business is in the service, finance or building industry and from my experience, the better they do, the more they expand and diversify while creating many new jobs to tax. That is the heart of heart of the American entraprenourial spirit right there. Most of the millionares I know live in modest homes and don’t have butlers, maids or pool boys….this is a stereotype. Why do you think we are still in a down trurn ? Because housing effects our 3 major small business industries plus others like manufacturing and housing is still spiraling downward.

        1. Walker says:

          There is no demand for housing because right now there is no demand. There is no demand because people can’t afford it. Eventually junior will have to move out of the basement but he has to have a decent job first. For there to be jobs in the finance, service or building industry there has to be money coming in from some where that creates something. It would appear that neither party has figured out how to get that to come to this state.

    4. Bg says:

      Drink the koolaid, we’ll see come election time how many budget-cutting, medicare-ending, social security-reducing voters agree with you

    5. Good Ol Boy says:

      The stadium plan is one of the few good things that has been done, so yes it IS a priority for MN.

  5. CM says:

    Taxing the rich does not hurt the economy. We have done nothting but give the rich reduced taxes and it has done nothing to improve jobs. They just pocket it.

  6. Mark says:

    Stand strong, GOP. Force Dayton’s hand. I voted you in to control spending and stop all of this excessive spending. And that is exactly what I expect you to do. If you want something in life, earn it, don’t expect someone else to give it to you. It really is that simple.

    1. Sick of Games says:

      @Mark – Yes, I agree, “If you want something, you should earn it. Don’t expect someone else to give it to you.” But isn’t that what the rich are doing? Taking the tax cuts, hiding money in their kids/grandkids’ names, and not paying their fair share. They did not earn it; they were given it!

      1. Citizen says:

        @Sick of Games. Don’t confuse Mark and Captain America with facts. They enjoy their delusions of every man being an island. What is it that Garrison Keillor used to say on his show? Something about a place where all the women are strong and the men are good looking?

  7. Captain America says:


    Ouch, quite a post, is that your best shot? That being said difference of opinions makes America strong, keep posting your misguided posts. Dayton will try to spend even even as the ship is sinking into financial muck.

    Carry on brother,

    1. Citizen says:

      @Captain America & Mark. No sense providing you two with facts because it has been proven time and again that you live in a cognitive dissonance world. You spin your own reality in absolute contradiction of historical facts. Have fun with your purple sky and giant flowers.

      1. Mark says:

        Citizen, as you didn’t bother providing facts, let me provide some for you. I live in a house that is paid for, I have no outstanding debt, and I don’t have a 6 figure or better salary. I got to where I am in life by following two simple philosophies. First, if I want it, earn it. Second, if you don’t have the money for it, don’t buy it. I see no reason why government can not do the same . . . stop spending money you don’t have. It really is that simple. Oh buy the way, the sky outside isn’t purple, it’s mostly cloudy.

        1. Citizen says:

          @Yes, the forecast, for Mark is mostly cloudy with a dim sun….. Did you read the post below this one?

        2. Reasonable says:

          The government doesn’t “earn” anything so your philosophy there is misguided and wholly incorrect.

  8. Citizen says:

    Here is an excerpt from a poster at about the present U.S. (Minnesota) tax structure:
    Clearly a government that doesn’t collect enough revenue to provide basic services such as law & order, national defense, and reliable infrastructure can not support a healthy economy. More convincing is empirical evidence, however. Simply take a look at the countries in the world where government revenues/expenditures amount to 5% of GDP or less…you’re not going to find any robust economies there.
    So that leads to the question of where we currently are on the scale. I like
    the number-crunching being done at…not for the
    outcomes, but because it seems to start with the data and let the data drive
    the outcomes. Based on nearly 80 years of GDP & tax numbers for the US, the
    data very strongly suggests that the tax burden and top marginal tax rates
    right now are actually too low to optimize economic growth.
    Hope the words aren’t too big for Mark and Captain America!

    1. Claire says:


      You make mne laugh everyday. You obviously an educated man who takes time to actually read a book. Too bad more people dont do that.
      Anyone who would analyze data and make a statement like “marginal tax rates right now are actually too low to optimize growth” doesnt live in the real world. This summary is basically saying that we have to raise taxes to spur growth. Does this great analyst believe that giving more money to the govt creates growth. I dont think many economisgt would agree with that statement.

      1. Citizen says:

        Uh, Claire, I quoted a man with a doctorate in economics from Guess you’re smarter than he is by saying he doesn’t live in the real world. Tax history of the last 80 years does indeed point out that a marginal tax rate of 91% on the wealthiest Americans during the Eisenhower years did lead to prosperity–just one example. But, I’m sure you weren’t alive then to see that for yourself, as I was. Glad I can make you laugh in your dingy little world.

        1. Claire says:

          Sorry Citizen,

          Even in my dingy little world I do not agree that raising the marginal tax rate and giving it to govt will spur prosperity. Yes we had prosperity during the Eisenhower years but it was not solely based on an increased level of taxation. You should probably consider the other dynamics of the economy that created prosperity during that time.
          I do not expect you to understand any of this as you come from a limited view of the real world yourself. I believe you have stated in the past that you used to work in govt. Enough said.

          1. Citizen says:

            Oh, Claire. I’m so impressed that you remembered that I said I worked in government. How about if I said I also ran my own business, taught, worked for small business. Would you believe all that, too? The tax rate on the wealthy WAS 91% DURING THE EISENHOWER YEARS. No wars, either. Interesting combination. Wars create debt for a government and taxpayers but money for the wealthy. I believe it was Ike who said to beware the military/industrial complex. Great man. Now wars (Iraq/Afghanistan) created by a Republican president (Bush) have gone on longer than both World Wars combined and have cost the U.S. taxpayers untold billions. But, created massive wealth for that military industrial complex. Wealth that has not “trickled down” to the 98% of taxpayers in this country. Want to know what a PRIVATE government backed contractor mercenary makes on the taxpayer dime? $100,000 plus a year tax free in a war zone. Want to know what a government-paid military guy makes: $30,000 a year. Where are your tax dollars wasted? I could tell you more, but I think it’s classified information, not for the likes of you. Enjoy your naivete about government and taxes.

            1. The Guy says:

              Taxes and government spending were cut in half in the early 20’s and in 1946, unemployment went below 2%. When Russia collapsed they went to a flat tax of 11%, unemployment plumited and they saw GDP of 7+% year over year. The right tax cuts make the biggest difference. Progressvie taxing like FDR’s under the New Deal resulted in 22% unemployment.

              1. MN Mom says:

                I think Citizen took his ball and went home

                1. Reasonable says:

                  While the Eisenhower years may be ancient history to some, let’s look at the greatest man to ever live (Why Ronald Reagan of course!) and see how his lowering of the taxes policy pretty much made for a boom in income and wealth for the top earners and stagnation for the rest of us. Porsperity indeed! Then along comes that evil Clinton and next thing you know we have budget surplusses, prosperity and a lack of global conflict.

                  You people are silly. If you honestly think that paying an extra five cents on the dollar for income earned over $180,000 for single filers is going to kill the economy, you simply need to ask yourself why letting them keep it hasn’t helped the economy since the new tax rates went into effect. It’s ok if you lie to me since I know where to find the truth, but please quit lying to yourselves as it only serves to make you pitiful.

                2. Grover says:

                  @ Reasonable. Look at the debt increases under Regan as a portion of the GDP and you will see record highs. Regan borrowed the country to riches. Clinton put the brakes on the increase in the debt and the country did better, The second president Bush cut taxes and we ended up in a recession. Your simplistic theory does not hold.

    2. Mark says:

      I would agree that any government needs to collect enough revenue to provide basic services. However, I’m very confident that if we take a step back and look at all of the programs, (both at the Federal and State level) we can all agree that there is a large number of programs that are anything but basic services OR needed services.
      Which brings me back to my earlier posting . . . If you don’t need it, and you cannot afford it . . . don’t buy it. In other words . . . if the government’s revenue doesn’t cover the cost of the program(s) that are not needed, get rid of them.

      I’m not going to debate your numbers, in truth, I agree with them. However, I feel strongly that what needs to be done first is to eliminate or pair back non essential programs. Then take a look at how much revenue is needed.

      Until our government gets control over spending, and eliminates many of the programs that are truly not needed, all this talk about taxing this group or that group is mute.

      To Citizen – Obviously you are pasionate about this topic and it is good to debate it. I’d like to offer you some advice my parents told me many years ago. “If you want someone to listen to what you have to say AND give it consideration, do not take personal “jabs” at them. The split second that you do, is the moment they stop taking you serious.”

      Mark’s going to work . . . signing off . . .

      1. Citizen says:

        @Mark. First, if you want someone to listen to you don’t be a condescending ….you get to fill in the blank. And if you, Mark, want to be taken seriously learn to spell and use grammar correctly, otherwise, you look uneducated. I could care less if you agree with me or not, I post for those who don’t already have hard core opinions and are instead looking for history and information that they can also check for themselves. And you better check out who is calling names here, because I certainly don’t start it, but I WILL FINISH IT.

        1. Mark says:

          Citizen. I have just reviewed all of the postings that I wrote and referenced you. Not once did I call you a name. So I’m calling you out and it is time for you to backup your allegation. When did I call you a name? I agree with you, “I didn’t start the name calling . . . But I am finishing it!”

          Your apology is accepted.

  9. Captain America says:

    Mark has the right idea for all american families and government to follow, A modest Government to to protect our freedoms and letting the private sector grow is the secrect to a successfull economy. As our gov. expenditures approach 25% of GDP our deficit will be uncontrollable leading to the demise of our nations ecomomy.

    Reduced gov. spending + reduced business taxes – the Fed. reserve printing money = prosperity

    Have a great day,

  10. Captain America says:


    Your mannerisms suggest you are from the culture of a liberal college campus?

    1. Citizen says:

      Wrong on all counts, Captain America. Obviously, you did not read my post regarding tax policy support for an economy. That’s fine because I don’t post for the ignorant of the world who refuse to face facts. I post for people who might be curious and want to read about alternatives to the tripe and dogma spouted by the mainstream media which is owned by a few wealthy individuals. (Think they don’t have an agenda?) Anyway, my posts are meant to provide alternative sources of information. Read if you want, ignore at your peril! History will prove who is right. Those of us who do not listen to history and learn from it, are doomed to repeat it.

  11. Captain America says:


    We do agree on one thing the mainstream media does the american people an injustice with their slanted views. The next election will be a referendum on whats occurring and I hope all americans will get out and vote. My feeeling is the trend of the last election will continue as the trend is for smaller gov and less spending. It will be fun to watch it unfold, win or lose.

    Captain America out,

  12. Citizen says:

    Hey, Captain America. Let’s bet lunch on the outcome of 2012. Obama is going to win by a landslide. Obama got Osama!!!! Your boy, what was his name again? I forget. He didn’t.

    1. Tom says:


      The reason what’s his name didn’t get Osama was because he want Saddam Hussein more.

    2. MN Mom says:

      Citizen, Didnt you just claim above that Bush started the wars in Iran/Afghanistan? So if that’s the case shouldnt Bush get the credit for getting Osama? Typically left winged libreral. Take credit for everything but be sure to always place blame upon others. Lets hear it Citizen, what about jobs, jobs, jobs blah blah blah. You are so insignigicant!

      1. Betty says:

        @ Mn Mom
        Bush had his chance to get Bin Laden at Torah Borah. It is also very rude of you to call some one insignificant. Should I say that is typical right wing to marginalize people?

        1. Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao says:


          If it helps you, Comrade Citizen is a VERY significant Minnesota Marxist!

          Comrade Lenin and Chairman Mao

        2. MNMom says:

          I do believe Clinton had a chance to take him out. Gee that would have prevented 9/11. I guess looking back in history can either prove your point or really make you look silly. (I took your advice and didnt say insignificant)

  13. Trayce Olsen says:

    Stand Strong Gov. Dayton–the republicans are a heartless bunch and don’t care about most of the folks who helped put them in office..We definitely need to find a solution to our money problems BUT taking it from the disabled and Seniors IS NOT ONLY UNKIND BUT IT REALLY ISN”T GOING TO HELP..Everyone has to help with this and for penalizing the poor and disabled is ludicrous..

  14. Give Up says:

    The things that are argued above are all valid to some degree. However, it solves nothing. How about a flat tax and unified health care?? they worry over health care reform… how to pay for it… when they should worry about why it cost so much to begin with… a MRI in the USA for just your neck 3000 dollars.. in other countries that controll the health care not even 1000. and another thing americas expectations amd standards of living are out of controll. a meal prepaired on formica countertop will taste just as good as a 80,000 dollar kitchen with top of the line stuff. I dont need 4000 sq foot house to be happy.. my 1000 sq foot house will do for me and my kids.. work for what i have but believe in helping the less fortunate as well.

    1. EU Socialism says:

      @Give Up, you would fit right at home in one of many EU countries. I do agree with you on the Flat Tax however. I’d like to see the middle and lower middle class actually pay their fair share. You sound as though you have capitulated in life. The thing is I didn’t have kids until I could provide that lifestyle. That took all of 3 years out of college. I am happy with my 6000 sq foot house and my top of the line stuff all earned from the bottom up with no complaining, whining or expectations of stealing from others Your post tells me you have made many poor choices in life to get to the level of inviting in socialism.

      1. Reasonable says:

        You do realize that a flat tax would reflect income disparity to an even greater degree right? How many people making $35k a year at a 10% flat tax rate would it take to equal one of these top 1% that make all these jobs that they supposedly do? The Medica CEO made what, $10.8 million? At 10% flat tax he pays $1,080,000 in tax while the $35k pays $3,500. How much does the 1%er pay in taxes right now? Maybe, MAYBE $600,000. How much does average guy pay? About $3,000-$4,000 depending on deductions and itemizing.

        Sure, why not? Let’s do your flat tax so that everyone can pay their fair share!

        1. The Guy says:


          Whaaaaa ? You know where to find the truth ? Then why don’t you correct yourself about Clinton ? His surplus was projected for the next president in office and there were a few things of his own doing that kept it from happening. Clinton lost billions of his projected surplus when 11 million jobs were lost in his last year during the DOT COM bubble burst (his 2nd bubble was the mortgage bubble that crippled us). Clinton put half a trillion on our credit card and it wasn’t until Newt took over the House that we turned the spending around and drafted a plan towards a surplus. The biggest part of Clinton’s surplus projection was Intilectual Property, NAFTA gave away our manufacturing jobs and we were supposed to get richer off of our IP, only the other countries took our jobs and just ripped off our IP without paying us. Clinton was good at foreign relations and that’s about it.

          Your Reagan facts are silly, the middle class grew 8.2% under Reagain, his poverty average was below Clinton’s with a larger population growth which is amazing and he crated 21 million jobs and didn’t lose half of them like Clinton, he also took down Russia and the Berlin Wall.

          You need to do more research on flat taxes as well.

          1. Nigel says:

            Reagan took down the Berlin wall? Damn, the pictures I saw was the East Germans themselves doing it. Russia collapsed itself under the weight of heavy military spending without the economy to back it up. But you can look at it any way you want.

            1. All 57 States says:

              Yeah, my college education at the U of M skipped those parts too but thankfuly I was curious and that lead to me taking a much deaper look into many things. The Guy is right, Reagan spent the Russians into oblivion, he poker faced them into spending more on missle defense by faking the Star Wars program. Reagan’s effect on the Berlin Wall is very easy to study, you should try it out. I am actually pretty furious to find out how much I paid for my education after finding out how much free thinking it really kept me from.

  15. The Guy says:

    Mark Dayton’s own money is in a low taxing state, he doesn’t care who he effects here. Dayton’s largest contributions came from Unions and his only way to protect unsustainable bankrupting benefits is to increase taxes on people who already foot the bill.

  16. Just responding to Morons says:

    Hey Mark Dayton, Have a Captain Coke, maybe that will help.

  17. NOt going to discuss this says:

    Why are we even discussing a ban on gay marriage and a Vikings stadium bill when we can’t even solve the budget?! Aren’t things like the budget, and health care and education more important than ANY stadium? It’s time we get ALL Reps/ Senators out of office and start reprioritizing what’s important to our State, NOT what’s important to the next Senator or Representative. There are more important things than keeping the Vikings in MN or banning gay marriage in our state. How about the child who dies because they can’t get proper health care? or your adult sister who’s diabetic and cannot get health insurance because she “makes too much” yet is WORKING, while her neighbor does NOTHING and gets handed everything on a silver platter? How about we start addressing those kinds of issues? Or start drug testing people on welfare? If you can afford cell phones, drugs, alcohol and smokes you sure as heck can afford other things. Where are the priorities here MN?! It’s time we start cracking down on what’s ACTUALLY important….everything else is just stuff. Let’s get a budget balanced and THEN start talking about a Vikings stadium or a ban on gay marriage. Funny how the gay marriage isn’t hurting anybody, isn’t costing any body more money, yet we discuss THIS over the budget?! Duh…where’s the importance here? Most certainly NOT on the State…but then again we most certainly CANNOT end the session with the whole state pissed off going into elections in Novemeber now can we?! So again I say…WHERE are the priorities here?!

  18. Bobby redbone says:

    Racino Baby , lets get some money from gambling , almost every other state does but us. Tax the tribes 1.5 Billion.

  19. Ronald Raygun says:

    More Reaganonics. please.

  20. gomer says:

    If everyone thinks taxes are so great, let’s raise the sales tax so everyone can enjoy it. Can someone explain how the rich paying the highest tax rates are getting a deal. I would guess that the rich use less government then others because they put their kids into private schools. I believe that if someone makes twice as much as someone else, their taxes are double not triple or four times. I think Gov Dayton thinks if someone makes twice as much their taxes should be 3 or 4 times higher.

    The rich are the moral ones in this argument, they aren’t asking for anything from anyone else., the others have their hands in others pockets and are immoral. Let’s not forget this.

  21. Fiddle Sticks says:

    The rich spend more, and so they pay more in sales tax. The rich own property, so they pay more in property tax. The rich own more cars, so they pay more licencing fees. The rich make more money, so they pay more income tax. The rich earn interest and pay tax on that interet. The rich have lawyers and accountants and staff, the money the rich pay those people is taxed. The rich own big boats and pay luxury taxes, except John Kerry, who kept his yacht in a different state for a year to avoid paying $ 500,000 in taxes on his $ 7 million ship. Al Gore uses more energy than a small city. I dont hear him saying we should raise taxes on the rich. Daytons money is protected from taxes. His Grampa gave it to him. He should pay more.

  22. N D says:

    Put sales tax on clothes! We have that in Noth Dakota!

  23. Sick of the Rich! says:

    I am going to put a business in my house, so i can get in on those Tax Brakes!

  24. Chuck says:

    if I remember right, and I may not I am old, I believe that the Republican hero
    Regan finally decided that it was necessary to RAISE TAXES to increase revenue. Maybe that is a good idea!!!!

  25. gomer says:

    Reagan did raise tax revenue. He did it by lowering tax rates. If you want less of something then tax it. So Dayton wants to tax the rich, so I guess he wants less rich. The fact is that under the GOP the budget increases, just not enough for the big spenders like Dayton that want a double digit increase every session.

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