Dayton, Republicans Back in Budget Talks

"Gov. Dayton says GOP lawmakers made a "serious" budget offer this morning", Hauser tweeted.

That's what happened this week, after DFL Gov. Mark Dayton presented an offer to the Republicans who control the Minnesota Legislature in an attempt to wrap up the state's $46 billion two-year budget.

Due to squabbling over transportation spending in St. Paul, the governor says the only way to get the job done is force residents to pay more when buying a auto.

WDAZ spoke to some Minnesotans and they say they think the increased tab fees are unreasonable, especially for a newer vehicle.

Dayton responded Republicans moved hardly at all, and insist on large tax cuts and raiding the General Fund for transportation projects. Lawmakers are preparing a new round of spending bills to send to the governor if talks do not go well. If lawmakers and Dayton do not agree to a budget by the constitutionally required deadline, they will need to go into a special session because without a budget state government could shut down on July 1.

The state budget should not be set in this manner.

"We really are last in the country, and today's vote on the House floor and the expected vote on the Senate floor this evening and the governor's signature will get us in line so we are no longer an outlier on this issue", said Rep. Dennis Smith, R-Maple Grove, the author of the Real ID bill. Also problematic to Republicans is the fact that Dayton wants to move $350 million from the Health Care Access Fund, which he doesn't count in his budget totals. "If we're going to consider a halfway budget we've got to consider all the spending", Knoblach said.

With less than five days in session remaining, House Speaker Kurt Daudt said it was up to Dayton to make the next offer, suggesting that the GOP-controlled House and Senate would soon reach a breaking point at which it would break away and start assembling a budget with hopes the Democratic governor would sign it. If they don't get it done by midnight Sunday, there will have to be a special session.

  • Bernice Underwood