With the Legislature poised to begin its Passover/Easter recess, Gov. Mark Dayton had a message for lawmakers who will return April 18 with five weeks left in the 2017 session and much yet to be done.
“We’re not going to let the fiscal integrity we’ve worked hard to reestablish in the state be jeopardized for short-term political gains,” Dayton said during a press briefing Friday.
The governor called on legislative leaders to do as he said he’d done in January and put forward budget numbers that “add up,” which he said must be the starting point before real negotiations can begin.
“Once that’s achieved, we’ll get started,” Dayton said.
The governor said he’s had “cordial” lunches with several Republican leaders over the last couple of weeks but that “actions speak louder than words.”
He also mentioned provisions in several omnibus bills — including pre-K and transit funding, proposed modifications to the state’s buffer laws and the Enbridge pipeline — as issues that could draw his veto if left unchanged.
And Dayton again urged lawmakers not to include policy provisions in budget bills, noting that one of the compromises that ended the 2011 government shutdown was to separate policy and budget items.
The governor said he “vividly” remembers the shutdown and, although there is still plenty of time remaining to resolve differences, the end of session seemed to be a “less compelling” deadline for lawmakers than in the past.
“If they choose to be confrontational, we’ll have confrontation,” Dayton said.
But the governor said his goal is to resolve differences on a timely bases, and that if lawmakers chose “reasonable accommodations” and “apples to apples” budget numbers, “then we have a reasonable opportunity to achieve that.”
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.
The budget process explained — and why it matters
$45 billion plan is about a 10 percent increase over current biennium
Governor urges lawmakers to pass a big capital investment bill during budget-setting year; House Speaker has expressed doubt over bonding this session
It was a day of selfies, swearings-in and standing ovations as the House opened the 2017-18 biennial session Tuesday.