After significant progress Tuesday, Governor Mark Dayton and Republican leaders hit a snag in state budget negotiations yesterday. The governor made what he called a “Meet Half Way” offer, which Republicans interpreted differently. House Speaker Kurt Daudt says, “His offer was about two-thirds his direction and one-third our direction, and frankly that’s just not helpful with just a few days left.” Dayton responded Republicans moved hardly at all, and insist on large tax cuts and raiding the General Fund for transportation projects. “Real Minnesotans who are elderly, who are disabled, who are down-and-out, and they’re gonna take away services and dollars for them,” says Dayton. Both sides meet again today with five days remaining in the legislative session.
Dayton says Republicans dropped a measure that would have reduced tax rates for low-income Minnesotans but have kept an estate tax cut that will benefit multi-millionaires. Daudt says Dayton’s stance on spending is “out of touch with where Minnesotans are at on these issues and we’re gonna keep fighting for tax relief and for money for roads and bridges. Those are our priorities.” Dayton warns Republicans are increasing the chance of government shutdown. “If they won’t budge, that’s probably what we have in the cards,” he says.