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Despite the sun, it is a dark day in Minnesota. On the last night of
possible negotiations, the Governor rejected our fourth compromise offer
and came forward with no plan of his own, instead holding a press
conference at 10pm - two hours before the deadline - to announce a
Legislative colleagues and I, after 6 months of working to pass a
complete budget during the regular session and develop three compromise
proposals since adjournment, sat ready and waiting in our seats on the
House floor. Our final offer included additional revenue in the form of
tobacco bonds and accounting shifts, allocates more funding to higher
education, and increases per-student aid to cover potential borrowing
costs. Yet the Governor would not even agree to a "lights-on" measure
to avert a shutdown and allow for continued negotiations.
Make no mistake, Governor Dayton created the unnecessary pain of this
government shutdown--and some believe he was planning for it long before
session even ended. The GOP passed a complete budget that funds
government and makes it sustainable. Governor Dayton doesn’t believe
that a $34 billion budget —$3 billion more than the last budget—is
enough and, is now sinking this state over a $1.8 billion tax increase.
Each of our budget proposals represented a fiscally responsible approach
that funds priorities, promotes reform and sets our state up for a
sustainable future. Governor Dayton shut down government just to raise
taxes to make it even bigger.
Legislative colleagues and I will continue to work towards a consensus
solution that funds government without raising taxes. Sometimes we have
to do more than our best - we have to do what is necessary. The time is
now for the Governor to act on the needs of Minnesota rather than the
wants of politics, call us back to work, and let us end the shutdown.
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