Dayton signs budget bills into law, but showdown with lawmakers continues

By Jonathan Avise
House Photography file photo

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday he would sign into law nine budget bills that make up the state’s $46 billion, two-year budget, and would allow a $650 million tax bill to become law without his signature.

But Dayton also line-item vetoed funding for the Minnesota House and Senate, an attempt, he said, to bring leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature back to the table to remove a handful of provisions in the tax bill and education and public safety budget bills that he does not want to become law.

Dayton said during an evening news conference he had strong disagreements with portions of each of the budget bills to which he put his signature. But, reading from a letter he sent to House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), the governor explained he was seeking to avoid “a bitter June showdown” and potential state shutdown.

"If I was to veto them I would put the entire state government on the brink of a shutdown," he said.

The governor’s line-item veto may force legislative leaders to strike another deal with Dayton for a summer special session if they want to restore House and Senate funding before the new fiscal year begins July 1. 

Dayton, as expected, vetoed an omnibus jobs bill that included language that would prevent cities from passing their own employment standards on private employers. The bill also included items the governor wanted, like paid parental leave for state employees and the ratification of public sector union contracts. 

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