Gov. Dayton made his strongest statement today on the GOP backed budget. Dayton told reporters today that the respective budget bills that are being sent his way will be turned back.
"I will be rejecting the bills and sending them back to leadership."
He declined to use the word "veto" but said the bills will be rejected and emphasized that "the bills will not become law without my signature."
Republicans started processing their budget bills last night despite Dayton's disagreement with them. The two sides are at odds over the best way to craft a two year budget. Dayton wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners. Republicans have rejected that plan and say the $5 billion projected deficit can be erased through spending cuts.
Dayton says he's scheduled to speak with the 109 Republican members of the House and Senate
to make his case for his tax increase. tomorrow morning at 9am.
Update: A spokesman for Senate Republicans says Dayton will not be speaking to the caucuses at that time.
Dayton says he's willing to allow press in to the meeting.
Lawmakers have until Monday to finish their work. If they don't reach a budget agreement, a special session will have to be called. State government would shut down If no budget is in place on July first.
Typical Republican bullying and dirty tricks were on display last night during House procedings (on tpt tv). They wanted to keep working on the House floor past midnight despite Democratic voices of reason saying it would compromise their safety (fatigued driving is a major cause of car crashes) and also be less productive, all for bills that were sure to be vetoed anyway.
Republicans also would not say what exactly they wanted to work on and they repeatedly tried to stifle discussion of the motion (often in really mean and/or sarcastic ways). Also, around the same time that the motion to work past 12 was made, a committee meeting was moved from 8 am today to 7 am by its Repubican leadership, making the prospect of working all night even less desirable for those on that committee. I have to wonder what their motives are. Torturing Democrats into submission?
Republicans wasted the last four weeks debating ways to curb various civil rights, and now they claim that they have to hurry up and pass these bills that they know will be vetoed. They weren't going to resume work on the floor until this afternoon. They COULD have adjourned last night at a reasonable hour, driven home without endangering anybody, gotten some rest, and resumed work at a reasonable morning hour. That's how we know that it was some kind of dirty trick.
I'm surprised this story isn't an item here and that it wasn't on MPR's news this morning.