ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Constituents had plenty to say about the state’s budget impasse during a town hall meeting in St. Paul.

A roomful of public employees, who soon could be laid off if state lawmakers can’t reach an agreement, gave Republican Rep. Keith Downey of Edina an earful Wednesday night.

Union workers criticized Downey and the Republican budget he supported. State government would shut down July 1 if a new two-year budget is not in place.

Bill McCarthy of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation suggested that compromising on taxes would help save state jobs. Downey has opposed Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal to raise income taxes on top earners to balance the state budget.

Minnesota Public Radio News says Downey has sponsored several measures this year to cut government spending, including a 15 percent reduction in the state workforce over four years.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (26)
  1. Wow says:

    The republican morons think they don’t have to compromise on taxes at all do they? Give a little and then you get a little.

    1. Brett says:

      That moron Dayton doesn’t think he has to compromise on taxes at all does he? Give a little and then you get a little.

      I’m just showing how your comment can easily be flipped and both of our ideas contribute nothing.

      1. Reality Bites says:

        Except, Brett – Dayton has already offered a compromise of 1.8 billion in cuts and 1.8 billion in taxes.

        The GOP stands squarely for the top 2% of wage earners and passing the cost of services to municipalities who must raise property taxes to provide basic services.

        1. Brett says:

          Do you have a link to that article? I haven’t read that one yet.


            1. Brett says:

              Thanks for the post.

              In reading the article, I didn’t understand why Dayton hasn’t proposed decreasing spending from $37 billion. I am also confused on why Republicans are not interested in raising additional revenue (e.g. from gambling).

              It looks like the debate is far from over with many more opinions to come.

        2. We need compromise on both sides says:

          When that happerns Foreclosures will continue going up. The majority of people cannot afford to keep paying escalating property taxes. The upper 2% do not understand that because they pay for their homes with CASH.

          1. hoskerdoo says:

            And the average person can not keep paying increasing income (or sales or gas or….) taxes. The state should be run like any average houshold – spend what you have. When the going gets tough at my house we tighten the belt because we have no alternative. As far as the foeclosures go, I don’t think that property taxes are the reason most homes go into forclosure – what annual taxes on 200K house in suburb is like 2000. If people just used a simple formula to determine what they could afford, instead of over buying they should be able to make there mortgauge payments. READ MY LIPS……NO NEW TAXES. (btw my annual income is less than 60K – hardly rich. The legislature presented a balanced budget to the Gov. He chose to Veto it – so he is the one that is responsible.

            1. Biker Bry says:

              WOW… You are WAY off the mark. Do have any Idea about the reality of property tax increases in Minneapolis? Do you think property values when up or down last year? Why did my property taxes increase over $800 from last year to this year AND the state seemed to think it proper to raise my property value.

  2. Joe Hanson says:

    Governor Dayton veteod a budget that included $3billion in additional spending for the next biennium.

    Perhaps the public employees should be directing their anger at Governor Dayton.

  3. JB says:

    Intersting perspectives. One is not to cut taxes and one is to raise taxes and somehow offering not to raise taxes as much is a compromise? Just goes to show you that in perception, Dayton won this battle. In reality we will pay for the past legislature and their veto over ride for years to come. Thanks for getting up and leaving the tab, Marg.

      1. JB says:

        Margaret Anderson Keliher

  4. Umpire says:

    The GOP Legislators are doing EXACTLY what they feel is necessary and what those who voted for them wanted them to do. Most of them ran on pledges of reducing government and not raising taxes. If they compromise with Dayton and raise taxes, they stand little or no chance of being reelected. Many of these GOP Legislators are different in that they do not seem to worry about being reelected anyway! Dayton has underestimated their resolve from the very beginning.

    1. WHAT????? says:

      So the GOP is doing what they said they would when they ran? I do not remember them saying anything about social agendas that they seemed to need to pass before going on to the budget that they should have done before this time. I also do not see anything that is creating more jobs as ALL of them ran on. In fact in the case of no compromise they are on the brink of costing people a lot of jobs.
      On the other hand, I do remember Dayton running on a platform where he said he wanted to increase taxes on the top 2% in the state. In fact he said that a lot. So what is your point about the GOP again?

      1. me says:

        Wow…a lib complaining about social agenda….if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle african american.

        1. WHAT????? says:

          @ me
          I do not know why WCCO did not post my last comment but I will summarize it I guess. I am not a “lib” as you state as I do not follow a party, I follow the people I believe will do the job I would like to see done. Therefore I am baffled that you can call me a “lib” as you know nothing about me. That shows your intelligence level as you should understand that there are more than just Repubs and “libs” as you put it. The other thing that is kind of strange is your comment on “if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle african american” also shows that you not only are misinformed and judgmental but also very bad at jokes (at least I hope that was an attempt at a joke or it is on you). Last, if you are going to write there are words that need capital letters such as African, and American. Another piece of evidence that shows intelligence levels. …. ….. …..

    2. Mark says:

      I’d agree with most of what you said. I did help elect one of the new GOP legislator with the expectation of having a more responsible approach to how our tax dollars are spent. I applaud them for doing so.
      Other posts have stated that fees will raise. That certainly is possible. But personally, I don’t have a problem with that. If I am receiving a service that involves a fee, I’ll pay the fee. If I feel the fee is too much, I’ll give pause and consider whether I truly need it or is there is a better option for me. If I’m not utilizing the service, then I will not pay the fee. That seems fair to me.

  5. Citizen says:

    @Umpire. But they will raise fees. And force the local governments to raise property taxes. Smoke and mirrors, the old shell game…..

  6. Umpire says:


    It is what it is. The GOP has waited 38 years to control the legislator, we are in recession with no end in sight, and the state has a 5 billion deficit. I know this is a stretch for you, but If you were a Minnesota Republican what might you do? As a Republican myself, their refusal to compromise with Mr. Dayton seems logical to me.

  7. Murph says:

    The governor of Texas decided to cut 75% of fire fighters.Right BEFORE 1/3 of the state was engulfed in flames.Now he wants to run for POTUS! Yes,the GOP is mentally challenged and morally corrupt! Minnesota had to send firefighters to Texas! Pawlenty is far from alone at the pig farm!

  8. Common Man says:

    We think the government should buy all the stock of Wal-Mart and make it a government business. All the workers could get public Union wages, benefits and get life time inflation proof pensions. This would also make the public employee Unions much stronger and have more people to vote in the politicians who would help them the most. We could keep prices very low as tax money would be used to subsidize everything. There is no reason that public Union
    employee would not support this idea. All public union members would get a 20% discount for shopping at this new government store too as an additional union benefit . This would be better for the Wal-Mart workers “Workers Rights” as unions like to say and it would be “good for the children” as unions like to say because these new government employees could afford better houses and pay more property taxes to fund schools. (this also gives a boost to the housing market) So I am asking all government Union employees to show your support for this idea and write your congressman now! You have no reason not to….

  9. KEVIN says:

    nice censoring job WCCO

  10. Lucifer says:

    What a big baby Dayton is. I saw two vids now where he nearly broke into tears. Obviously he is already in way over his head and gets yet another “F” for his failure as our guv. Maybe he better go have another consult session with Geo. Soros to figure out what to do next.

    Shut the government down ASAP! If a bunch of government workers FINALLY has to feel some pain from this economy, then so be it. Who do these people think they are?

  11. Kendra says:

    Year after year its always the same. We have to raise taxes or institute fees, or add a sales tax on something. The people have had it, NO MORE TAXES, live within the budget, figure it out. This year its the top 2% an easy target. What happens next budget, the top 4% or maybe a fee on bananas. The politicians are using the people in this class warfare garbage. Its time for people to unite and put a halt to this government growth and spending.

  12. Look at all the stupidity!!! says:

    You do know that we are paying less in taxes right now than what we paid in the 90’s right? Maybe not the same for property taxes as they went way up on TPaw’s watch. Income tax is at a low and you are still crying about it because you are still believing everything that Glenn Beck tells you. You tea baggers are just idiots. Do some work and find out the correct info before you start b!tching about stuff you have no idea about.

    As a side note, Lucifer, it would be Gov, not guv as it is spelled Governor. Once again the bright tea bags who started on a platform of trying to bring jobs back to the economy is now yelling for us to shut down and lay thousands of people off. Maybe you guys should have a meeting so you can all get on the same page as this is the worst party for having an objective that they can all agree on. It is not even a party, more of a cult. Put on you tennis shoes, drink the punch and wait for the comet to come and take you away (as the rest of us would be very happy to be rid of the stupidity).

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