There are two weeks until a state govermnent shutdown and it appears Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are no closer to a budget deal.
Gov. Dayton quickly rejected a GOP offer yesterday that Republicans argued was a "significant compromise." At the end of his news conference Dayton seemed to be touching on the theme of the 2011 legislative session when he remarked "We're at an impasse."
GOP leaders offered to drop their push for $202 million in tax breaks and spend the money on K12 schools, higher education, public safety and other programs. Watch video.
The GOP offer does not rely on any new revenue, which Dayton characterized as "extremely disappointing." Watch video.
Dayton told MPR's Midmorning that the impact of a shutdown on the state's workforce and the rest of the state wears on him.
The Pi Press says the public is telling lawmakers to get a budget deal done.
Republicans are also pushing for a special session to fund road work only. Dayton has rejected that plan saying he won't call lawmakers back until they agree on a complete budget.
Tidbit: The chief lobbyist for the Minnesota Association of General Contractors was in the back of the room when Republicans held the news conference.
Metro Transit promises to keep running in the event of a shutdown.
GOP Sen. David Hann criticized Archbishop John Nienstedt for endorsing "socialist fiction" after Neinstedt wrote Dayton urging him to protect the poor as he puts a budget together.
The Senate is ready to intervene in the shutdown lawsuit.
MPR says the private sector has mixed reactions to a potential shutdown.
The Minnesota Zoo wants off of Gov. Dayton's shutdown list but also wants to collect admissions revenue to keep running in the event of a shutdown.
Minnesota's unemployment rate ticked up to 6.6 percent in May.
Fewer Americans applied for unemployment.
Plans have been set for DFL Sen. Linda Scheid's memorial service.
GOP Sen. Gretchen Hoffman apologized in writing to DFL Sen. Barb Goodwin.
Officials want details of the stadium proposal by today.
The Star Tribune reports hopes are fading on getting it done by today.
An unlikely duo is leading the way for a new Vikings Stadium in Arden Hills.
Gov. Dayton will attend the funeral of Specialist Emilio Campo, Jr. today. Campo was killed on June 6 while serving his country in Iraq.
The Senate voted to repeal ethanol tax credits. Both of Minnesota's senators voted to keep the tax credit in place.
Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-NY, resigned.
GOP Rep. John Kline sponsors a bill that changes "No Child Left Behind."
Kline also sponsored a charter school bill.
DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar's economic disclosure form shows her net worth ranges between $194,000 and $454,000 and she reports no outstanding debt.
DFL Rep. Collin Peterson condemns the Ag spending bill.
DFL Rep. Keith Ellison will co-sponsor a bill that prevents localities from banning circumcision.
Race for Congress
The Star Tribune says the 6th District is in limbo as GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann makes a run for president.
Race for President
MPR says some liberals at NetRoots Nation are disenchanted with President Obama.
GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann addresses the Republican Leadership Council (formerly known as the Southern Republican Leadership Council) today.
A new poll shows GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann getting a bump.
Bachmann inked a book deal.
A top Bachmann aide, Andy Parrish, moved to Iowa.
Tim Pawlenty's bad week continues.
On Thursday, a CodePink activist showered Pawlenty with glitter during an event in an Francisco.
Politico reports that Pawlenty was in California to give a paid speech to an insurance group.
Tidbit: The DNC was quick to point out Pawlenty's paid speech and issued a news release criticizing him for it.
Pawlenty tries to fix the self-inflicted damage from Monday night's debate through Twitter and Fox News. He suggested on Fox News that Mitt Romney was a "co-conspirator"with President Obama on federal health care.
Newt Gingrich vows to run the most positive campaign in U.S. history.(6 Comments)
During an appearance on Fox News Thursday, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Palwenty said he should have answered a direct question posed to him in Monday's debate about former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's involvement in government-run health care.
"I should have been more clear.I should have made the point that he was involved in developing it, he really laid the groundwork for ObamaCare and continues to this day to defend it," said Pawlenty.
Critics blasted Pawlenty for backing down from criticism of Romney at the debate, a day after Pawlenty coined the phrase "ObamneyCare" to link Romney with the Democratic-led health care bill.
In the Fox News interview, Pawlenty suggested Romney would have a difficult time representing Republicans in a presidential race because of the health care issue.
"I don't think you can prosecute the political case against President Obama if you are a co-conspirator in one of the main charges against the President on a political level. And so it really puts our nominee if that's who it turns out to be in a very difficult spot. And I understand that Governor Romney argument that it is different at the state level. When you look at these two plans with only modest variations they are very similar and nearly identical," said Pawlenty.(2 Comments)
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and the Minnesota Judicial Branch are petitioning Ramsey County District Court Judge Kathleen Gearin to issue an order keeping Minnesota's court system operating if state government shuts down.
The petition says the separation of powers doctrine requires the state of Minnesota to pay for court services. The petition asks the judge to require Minnesota Management and Budget to pay for such obligations if there's a state government shut down on July 1.
Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Gildea released this statement on the petition.
"We take this action today because we believe it is in the best interests of the people we serve, the five million Minnesotans who are guaranteed access to justice that is delivered promptly and without delay," Gildea said in a statement. "I want to emphasize that we are requesting court action only in the event our budget situation is not resolved by July 1 through an appropriation, which is our preferred resolution."
This is the third petition submitted to Gearin. Swanson submitted a petition earlier this week to keep some executive branch services running if a shutdown occurred. Governor Dayton submitted his own petition earlier this week.
Gearin will hold a hearing next Thursday on the request.
State government will shut down if Dayton and GOP legislative leaders fail to reach a budget compromise by July 1.
Here's the petition:
As the state faces a government shutdown, Senate Republican Majority Leader Amy Koch has been pointing out that Dayton said he would never let it come to this.
"Gov. Dayton promised voters he would not shut down government," Koch said in a press release June 10, the day 36,000 state workers were sent lay off notices.
In fact, Dayton did say he would reject a government shutdown during the 2010 campaign.
Dayton and the Republican-controlled legislature are at an impasse over $1.8 billion in spending for the next biennium. Dayton wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest Minnesotans to expand the budget, but Republicans are not on board.
Both sides have offered concessions since Dayton vetoed the Republican's $34 billion budget in May. Dayton said he would trim his tax plan and support more spending cuts. Republicans are willing to shift $202 million in tax breaks to other programs. If they can't reach a deal by July 1, state government will shut down. This week Dayton filed a court petition laying out his plans for which agencies would remain open during a shutdown.
During a debate in late October 2010, KSTP-TV reporter Tom Hauser asked Dayton what he would do in a situation very similar to the one the state is facing now. Dayton, at that point in time, was proposing raising taxes on many more people to raise $4 billion in new revenue.
"If you can't get the tax increases that you want, and you can't get the Legislature to go along with the vision that you have, how far would you be willing to go," Hauser asked. "Would you allow government to shut down in order to try to get things the way you see them?"
"No, I would not shut government down," answered Dayton. "Government imparts important services to the people of Minnesota and those services need to continue - public safety, the education system and the like."
A bit later, Dayton seemed to back track, saying that he "would not compromise on the principle that we need to make taxes more progressive in Minnesota."
Dayton's spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci says the situation is very different now.
"The legislature failed to pass a budget that [Dayton] could sign, and he is now working every day to find compromise, so they can pass a budget he will sign into law," she wrote in an email.
Koch says that Dayton promised no government shutdown. While she fails to point out that he made this comment during the campaign -- long before the current stalemate -- he was responding to a question that described a situation very similar to the one the state is in now.
As a result, Koch's first PoliGraph test is accurate.
Sen. Amy Koch, Republican Legislative Leaders Comment on Layoff Notices Sent to 36,000 State Workers, June 10, 2011
C-SPAN, Minnesota gubernatorial debate, Oct. 24, 2010
Minnesota Public Radio News, Dayton revises budget offer, by Tom Scheck, May 16, 2011
Interview, Michael Brodkorb, spokesman, Sen. Amy Koch, June 16, 2011
Interview, Katharine Tinucci, spokeswoman, Gov. Mark Dayton, Jun
Posted at 4:10 PM on June 17, 2011
by Catharine Richert
The group, which has traditionally supported Democratic women candidates who favor abortion rights, won't say precisely how much it plans to spend in Wisconsin, only that it is significant and will be used for a range of activities including voter outreach and media.
For now, a sizable part of that money will be used to buy ads in two districts that boarder Minnesota.
Democrat Shelly Moore is running in Wisconsin's 10th district, which is adjacent to the Twin Cities area, and Jennifer Shilling, is running in the state's 32nd district, which includes La Crosse.
EMILY's List's efforts in Wisconsin go beyond the organization's traditional stand on the abortion issue, said group president Stephanie Schriock. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's policies on collective bargaining, education and health care have broader effects on women.
"These policies are a very direct attack on woman to have economic security and viability to move forward," she said, pointing to the state's fiery debate over collective bargaining rights for public employees as an example. Most teachers, she said, are women.
Typically the group endorses a candidate and financially supports the candidate through media and voter outreach with so-called coordinated expenditures.
In Wisconsin, EMILY's List will depart from its traditional model and use independent expenditures to promote candidates. This type of spending is done without consulting candidates and isn't subject to the same legal limits as spending done by the campaigns and political parties.