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Minnesota Legislature

Dayton says session has been a ‘shambles,’ likely won’t sign budget or tax bills

House Speaker Kurt Daudt talks with the media Saturday evening about negotiations with the governor. The House and Senate are expected to take up the conference committee report on the supplemental funding bill late Saturday night. Photo by Paul Battaglia

It’s not looking like the omnibus supplemental budget bill or the tax bill will get enacted this year.

Republican leaders met with Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL leaders Saturday night to discuss the major pieces of legislation they have yet to agree on, and neither side sounded very positive after the meeting.

“I’m not optimistic that they’re getting the budget bill or the tax bill. I’m not optimistic I’m going to get the education funding," Dayton said. "I think this session has been a shambles. I think the leadership in the final weeks and days is the worst I’ve ever seen.”

Gov. Mark Dayton speaks to the media Saturday evening about recent negotiations, saying he is not optimistic there will be a supplemental funding or tax bill this year. Photo by Paul Battaglia

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) told reporters Republicans made a presentation to the governor about where they needed to end up with the 989-page supplemental spending bill, but “I’m not sure that we’re going to get there.”

“It’s a good proposal. There’s a lot of funding in that bill that’s necessary and we know the governor wants. We hope he takes a serious look at it, but as of right now he’s indicated that he will likely not accept that bill,” House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) said.

Daudt said the governor sent them a list of 117 objections he had with the bill and they resolved 71 of the items they believe the governor finds most objectionable, noting some less controversial provisions “could slip by the goalie.”

Republicans also touted all the funding for schools – totaling $225 million, more than the $130 million in spending the governor requested – that spans the tax bill, omnibus supplemental budget bill and the bonding bill.

Daudt said they believe it’s a “really serious proposal” that would give schools access to more funds.

WATCH Republican response; Dayton and DFL response

Dayton has consistently requested a standalone school safety bill and objects to Republican leadership’s current plan of action.

“The chances of a budget bill are extremely slim, which is why I’ve asked them repeatedly to put the school safety money in a separate bill that they can send to me and I’ll sign,” Dayton said. “Again tonight they’ve refused to do that and it’s a tragedy that they’re going to hold that money hostage so they can stuff all that garbage in that bill that’s going to make it impossible for me to sign.”

Dayton said he has yet to see the final language, but based on discussions and what he knows so far, it’s likely that he’ll veto both the tax and supplemental funding bills.

The Senate and House plan to take up the omnibus supplemental spending bill late Saturday night.

— House Public Information Services' Melissa Turtinen contributed to this story


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