Letter: Dayton wanted this shutdownOn July 1, Minnesota’s government shut down because a budget was not in place to fund state government programs. The Minnesota Legislature made repeated offers to compromise over the past few weeks, but Gov. Dayton never made a counteroffer.
By: Dist. 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, Worthington Daily Globe
On July 1, Minnesota’s government shut down because a budget was not in place to fund state government programs. The Minnesota Legislature made repeated offers to compromise over the past few weeks, but Gov. Dayton never made a counteroffer.
The Governor’s forcing of a government shutdown is uncalled for and ridiculous. It sounds like we actually have agreed to meet his funding target in seven of nine areas of state government, yet he wouldn’t call a special session and bring us back to work to pass these bills. Governor Dayton is clearly holding the people of Minnesota hostage, and that’s a travesty.
During the last budget cycle, Minnesota spent $32 billion. The Legislature approved a balanced budget that spent $34 billion on state government programs, which included $2 billion in new revenue without raising taxes. Gov. Dayton wants to spend $35.8 billion on state government programs, and increase income and corporate taxes, and expand the sales tax, by a total of $1.8 billion.
The Legislature made three attempts at a budget compromise since session ended. In the meantime, Gov. Dayton told lawmakers on May 16 he wanted them to approve a $35.8 billion budget, and refused to move one inch from this demand.
There’s no question about it, this is an absolute lack of leadership from Governor Dayton because of his refusal to compromise. The Legislature compromised. The Legislature made budget offers. In more than six weeks, Gov. Dayton did neither, and now I am convinced he wanted this shutdown.
Even though Gov. Dayton doesn’t have to rely on his paycheck, tens of thousands of state employees do, and forcing a shutdown and holding state workers hostage is wrong and uncalled for.