The following is a statement from Governor Mark Dayton regarding this afternoon’s actions by the Minnesota Legislature. Governor Dayton is urging lawmakers to send him their bills as quickly as possible so that he can veto them and resume budget negotiations.
"For the past six days, I have met with Legislative Leaders in an attempt to negotiate a compromise budget that would best serve the needs of Minnesotans. As we agreed on Saturday, I presented them yesterday with budget concessions on four bills. Today I made second reductions on those four bills, with total budget cuts of $122 million.
"Now the Republican Legislative Leaders have abandoned those negotiations and are bringing their unbalanced Conference Reports, with extreme budget cuts and 609 policy positions, to the House and Senate floors.
"Their bills sacrifice funding for early childhood education, for our public schools, for the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State campuses, for student scholarships, and so much more, for the sake of their bloated tax giveaway to wealthy individuals, large corporations, and moneyed special interests. They even inserted into the tax bill overnight an additional tobacco tax cut of $3.3 million for premium cigars. So much for their professed transparency!
"They should know that I will veto every one of those bills, which will leave us with the same differences several days from now that we face today. Their actions will make it much more difficult for them to fulfill their Constitutional responsibility to send me budget bills, which I can sign, by May 22nd. I urge the Republican Legislative Leaders to send me their bills very quickly and then return to our negotiations."