Minnesota shuts down government; Gov. Dayton and legislature cannot agree on budget

Deltek Analyst Randi Powell and Sr. Analyst Chris Cotner report.

In a press release dated June 30, 2011, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said, “I deeply regret that the last week of intense negotiations between Republican legislative leaders and Senator Bakk, Representative Thissen, and myself have failed to bridge the divide between us.” He continued, “Our major difference remains the same. It is the difference between my balanced approach of significant spending cuts combined with income tax increases only on the very wealthiest Minnesotans, versus the Republicans’ ‘all-cuts’ budget.”

Taxes and spending are at the conflict’s core. Dayton wanted to cut less and tax more. The Republicans rejected tax increases and wanted to cut. Both are trying to reach the goal of fixing an approximated $3.6 billion budget shortfall.

However, this seems beyond the pale of partisan politics, with the governor blatantly calling out his opposition and blaming their perspective for the government having to shut down critical functions. His criticism is direct and biting deeper in the release, twice calling the Republicans “adamant” in their stance against the budget; accusing them of “protect[ing] the richest handful of Minnesotans at the expense of everyone else;” accusing them of protecting their “rich” friends; and, in case you missed his primary point, four times he blasts “so that millionaires do not have to pay one dollar more in taxes.” The Republicans have outright refused to raise any taxes and defiantly refuse passing any portion of the governor’s budget that attempts to do so. As momma used to say, “It takes two to tango.”

For the complete blog, go here.

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