While Minnesota is quickly approaching a July 1st government shutdown, Governor Mark Dayton refuses to call the Legislators back for a special session. The budget passed by the Legislature not only increases spending to the highest levels Minnesota has ever seen, yet balances the budget without raising taxes. So why did the Governor veto it? He did so because he wanted to add in an extra $1.8 billion in tax increases, which only 8% of Minnesotans want.
The state constitution states no bills can even be considered until the governor calls the Legislature into special session. So the bill written by the House Republicans to continue current funding levels until a deal is made, cannot even be heard. According to recent article by the Examiner, Republicans have been attempting to reach across aisles and work together by offering to match the Governor’s budget on K-12 Education, the courts and public safety. However, if Gov. Dayton isn’t willing to call a special session to pass those bills plus the Transportation Bill, then many jobs will be lost. The reality is that over 20,000 jobs could be kept by just signing the Transportation Bill that works on the dedicated funding.
In an article by the Chanhassen Villager, Senate Tax Committee Chair Julianne Ortman asked, “Why wouldn’t he just agree to our $34 billion budget? It’s the largest state budget we’ve ever had, and it funds all of the state’s essential services. If there’s something critical that we haven’t funded, let’s talk. I think our budget does fund everything that’s critical. I question the governor when he says that he’s really concerned about those folks, but he’s willing to hold them hostage to a tax increase of $1.8 billion. It’s not right.”
So while the Republican Legislators are representing the views of 87% of Minnesotans who do not want an increase in government spending, Gov. Dayton represents the views of a mere 8% of Minnesotans that wish to raise funding. Yet Governor Dayton has called Freshman Republicans “right-wing extremists”. Governor Dayton is not only going against the wishes of his constituents, but he will hurt real people if the government shuts down, the same people he claims to protect. During his campaign Dayton promised that he would not shutdown the government, if the government is shutdown isn’t this just another empty campaign promise?