Dayton agrees to GOP offer w. conditions; GOP studying

Posted at 10:16 AM on July 14, 2011 by Paul Tosto (14 Comments)

Gov. Mark Dayton at a speech at the University of Minnesota says he'll agree to a GOP offer made June 30, the day before state government shut down.

There are a few conditions, including that Republicans drop social policy issue changes and pull back from the insistence that there be an across the board 15 percent state employees cut.

Dayton also wants Republicans to agree to a bonding bill of no less than $500 million.


In the minutes since his announcement, some DFLers are attacking Dayton's compromise. Roseville DFL Rep. Mindy Greiling, a key DFL leader on education issues, tweeted, "No way can I support this awful "compromise" further tanking schools, deeper debt, kicking the whale down the road & a stadium?"

Spokesmen for the House and Senate Republican leaders were still studying Dayton's offer and were not ready to comment.

Four Republican freshmen lawmakers who were guests on MPR's Midday said they hoped the shutdown would soon end but added they need to see the details of Dayton's proposal.

"I think we're on the right path but I think we still have some things we're going to need to talk about," said Rep. King Banaian, R-St. Cloud. "We're going to have to have conversations about [policy]. We really want to look at which ones we still want to fight for."

"I have to see the details," Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, added. I want this done. I want this shutdown done. But we really have to look at what we're voting on, especially if it puts us in a tough spot two years from now."

Click on the play button below to hear Dayton's remarks:

MPR News reporter Tom Scheck tweets: There will be no DFL votes for this. GOP has to bring 67 in House & 34 in Senate to pass. Remember some in GOP don't want more spending."

Here's Scheck's story:

Gov. Mark Dayton said he will agree to a Republican budget offer that will increase the school aid shift by $700 million and sell $700 million in tobacco bonds to close the $1.4 billion budget gap.

He's dropped his plan to raise taxes on Minnesotan's making more than $1 million annually - about 7,700 filers.

"I am willing to agree to something I do not agree with," said Dayton.

Dayton made the announcement Thursday to a group of public policy fellows at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Earlier in the day, he put the offer on paper in a letter to GOP leaders.

"Most importantly to me, this proposal bridges the remaining $1.4 billion gap between us without any more drastic cuts in essential services to the people of Minnesota," he wrote. "Unfortunately, your plan achieves this goal, not by permanent sources of funding, but rather by borrowing an additional $1.4 billion."

There are three conditions. He wants the GOP to drop policy changes included in earler proposals, such as a ban on taxpayer funded abortion and a ban on cloning. He also wants the GOP to drop their proposed 15 percent across the board cut in the public employee workforce and he wants a bonding bill.

The GOP suggested delaying additional school payments and selling tobacco bonds on June 30, hours before the government shutdown at midnight.

U of M professor Larry Jacobs, who moderated the event, asked Dayton if he was capitulating.

"I want to get this done. I'm willing to take the initiative and the leadership necessary to get the resolution that's not ideal from my standpoint," Dayton said. "This is the only viable option that's potentially available."

Dayton emphasized that Republicans need to act fast on his offer.

"Put up or miss the opportunity," he said.

Below is the letter Dayton sent today to Republican leaders:
GMD 7.14.11 Letter to Speaker and Majority Leader

Comments (14)

Well that's too bad considering Dayton did all the real compromising. The Republican Party's idea of a compromise is "do everything we want or we're going to make everything awful all the time." I guess this means that Mark Dayton cares about the state and the employees enough to take even a terrible deal to get them back to work. This is bad news though.

Posted by cmoe | July 14, 2011 10:29 AM

If this brings the shutdown to an end, thank you God! Please let us get back to work and obtain state services. I pray the GOP doesn't stonewall on the 15% and social issues. Please, let us come together as Minnesotans again and be friends not adversaries.

Posted by Statewrkr | July 14, 2011 10:45 AM

So Dayton is folding. Why in hell did he put us through a 2 week shutdown just to agree to what was there before? My respect for Dayton just disappeared.

Posted by Jim | July 14, 2011 10:52 AM

These Republicans are a piece of work! They belly up to the bar but went it comes to picking up the tab they walk out. What a bunch of weasels.

Posted by Diana | July 14, 2011 10:58 AM

As long as the wealthiest Minnesotans are a protected class, they don't have to be involved or responsible or affected by any state problems. The poor and middle class continue to feel all the pain inflicted by our own Marie Antoinette of MN, Amy Koch, and her henchmen

Posted by Lynn | July 14, 2011 11:07 AM

As a moderate and a relatively new resident of the state of Minnesota, I think it is ridiculous that both sides keep up their little pissing match. I am from Wisconsin and still have a sour taste in my mouth from the issues that were raised there this spring. You know what? Wisconsin has a $300 million surplus because of taking petty rights away from the public employees. As a private sector job seeker and having been on the cutting block because of "the savior" Nobama and his idiotic healthcare reform. All of the political unrest in the states makes us look even weaker to the world. The USA is on its way out because of petty arguments.

Posted by D.C. | July 14, 2011 11:34 AM

Dayton's not folding. Do you really think this shutdown is helping us? It's hurting us all.

Posted by Statewrkr | July 14, 2011 11:38 AM

Statewrkr- My wife and I are both on layoff from the State. At this point we lost more than a weeks pay for what turns out to be nothing. Yes, he folded, he could have accepted the June 30th offer with conditions on the first day of the shutdown. To settle for what was offered before we lost our pay makes it a wasted sacrifice on our part.

Posted by Jim | July 14, 2011 11:44 AM

So basically, Dayton is allowing himself to take the political fall and get people back to work. No DFL legislator will go for this plan, so they can all continue to vote their beliefs. I think the long term goal here is to allow the Dems to retake the House and Senate.

And to be fair, this isn't the same deal as before the shutdown. It's still a higher dollar amount than the Republicans have said they wanted. It protects jobs (yes, even State worker jobs are worth protecting) and the bonding bill will help the construction sector after being idled for the past few weeks.

Posted by Jamison | July 14, 2011 11:46 AM

As a liberal and Democrat, I think Dayton has done the right and noble thing. He has kept the budget at a level for our state community to take care of our most disadvantaged fellow citizens. He has left himself open the opportunity to bring the case to the people in the next election. When he does, he and the Democratic party will be in a strong position to regain a working majority. The Republicans have left behind a record of non-compromise that the majority of the electorate will not forget. Please, fellow Democrats in the House and Senate, support the governor in his action. Don't leave him hanging to bear the brunt of this himself.

Posted by Roland Menge | July 14, 2011 11:48 AM

I appreciate that Dayton is trying to keep the process moving forward, but giving in to the demands is extremely disappointing. I think the Republicans were looking like spoiled children until this latest offer.

As a single mother who as been laid off, I felt pride that my sacrifice was for the right reason. I am willing to take on the debt and financial hardship of being laid off as long as the compromise is good for education and Minnesota. I am greatly disappointed that the personal sacrifice may be for naught.

Posted by Vicki | July 14, 2011 11:50 AM

I still support Dayton. How long would this go on when he is dealing with unrealistic and unreasonable GOP members? He has been a leader in attempting to resolve this issue... their failure to negotiate for the good of Minnesota is disgusting.

Posted by Ella | July 14, 2011 12:02 PM

why wasn't this done in a "cone of silence"?

My guess: Dayton has already agreed to this behind closed doors, the GOP demanded more, Dayton is bringing it out to the light of day to force the GOP to either accept an offer that it already said the time for had past behind closed doors, and he is hoping for them to say no a second time, or to share what happened behind closed doors if they say yes. (and bring back "flip flopper" to our political vernacular.)

Posted by jon | July 14, 2011 12:20 PM

Neat, glad the people who hate smokers now have a chance to apologise, tobacco bonds to bail out the state how cool is that,

Posted by Steve | July 16, 2011 9:47 AM

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