MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the big tax bill of the year Thursday, setting the stage for a rocky end of the 2018 legislative session.
The Democratic governor vetoed the bill while surrounded by second- and third-grade students from Bruce Vento Elementary School in St. Paul. He said it favors wealthy corporations at the expense of students.
The legislature has been meeting for three months, and there are now just four days left — but not a single one of the biggest bills of the year is advancing.
Dayton made good on his threat to veto the tax bill. He says the Republican-controlled legislature gave too many tax breaks to corporations, and not enough help to children.
“Republicans in the legislature don’t want to make them pay Minnesota taxes so that we can have enough money for better education for our students,” Dayton said. “It’s just incredible.”
The Democratic governor is making a last-minute demand for emergency school funding, but Republicans say it was not even on the Capitol radar until a couple of weeks ago.
“I am incredibly disappointed,” said House Speaker Rep. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown.
The GOP tax bill syncs up Minnesota’s tax code with the new federal system. Republicans say it holds harmless — or cuts taxes — for 2.2 million taxpayers. All of it now in jeopardy.
“The governor is literally trying to pit this group of Minnesotans against that group. And in this case, it’s low- and middle-income Minnesotans who would get some tax relief. Some really, much-needed tax relief,” Daudt said. “He’s pitting those people against kids in schools.”
Despite all of the drama here, the governor and Republicans met privately Thursday afternoon to yell at each other in person.
But we are told they are going to work and will come back with ideas about how to put it back together.