Posted at 3:35 PM on July 6, 2011
by Catharine Richert
This afternoon, Gov. Mark Dayton made two new offers to end the budget impasse.
In a letter to Republican legislative leaders, Dayton said he was willing to end the shutdown as early as today by passing a "lights on" bill that would give lawmakers time to put together and pass a final budget deal.
But Republicans rejected his plan because it increases taxes, according to an Associated Press report.
According to the letter, Dayton would be willing to raise taxes temporarily on Minnesotans making more than $1 million annually for $520 million in additional revenue over the next two years, and combine that with $300 million in increased health care surcharges, $100 million in tax reforms, and an additional school payment shift worth $490 million.
Alternatively, Dayton would be willing to drop is income tax hike, and increase taxes on a pack of cigarettes by $1 for a total of $283 million in new revenue, and approve a $700 million school aid shift, among other things.
I posted this list of possible revenue options earlier, but it's worth a second look now.
In the letter, Dayton wrote that he prefers the first option because it "is by far the better solution for Minnesota."
We're working to get his letter up online, and I'll update this post when we do.
You can read Dayton's letter here.
Thank you for posting Governor Dayton's letter, complete and unfiltered. I believe the Governor has gone above and beyond in his efforts to reach a budget resolution and I applaud his statesmanship in carrying out his duties on behalf of the citizens of our state.
The governors letter gets high marks for tone, and on the surface it reads well, but it doesn't really do anything to reduce the size of government, which seems to be the real problem here.
I had read the governors first list of non-essential services, and the majority of those seemed completely unneeded.
How about we consider the following proposal. We commit to shutting the government down for six more months, and in that time we ask that all parties receiving government funds go to court to prove they are an essential service worth the tax burden they impose on citizens.
At the end of the six months, the agencies that could not prove they should exist should simply be left shut down.
I'm guessing that would make balancing the budget pretty easy.
Mr. Schumacher, That's the most ridiculous idea I've hear yet! The shutdown is costing tax payers hundred's of thousands of dollars per day as it is, not to mentioned the terrible fallout to businesses and the economy. The republicans need to compromise and stop whining!
Yeah right - here's the offer - taxes - taxes - and more taxes....
So typical of Democrats - when they win elections, they consider it a mandate to grow government, when they lose elections, they shut government down until the opposition finally give in, or give up.
This is not governance, it's political campaigning.
The duly elected legislature passed a balanced budget which increases spending by 6%. This is more than enough, especially in a recession.
Dayton's "offers" are nothing but a part of a cynical and politically motivated DFL strategy to win back the legislature in 2012.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with trying to win back the power they consider theirs by right, that is no excuse for shutting down the government. In fact, it's a dereliction of duty on the part of the governor.
Dayton's repeated failure to perform his required duties could be construed as nonfeasance as defined by M.S. 211c.01 subd.3. In which case, he would be subject to recall.