Republican leader Koch: Only Dayton can end shutdown

Posted at 11:09 AM on July 11, 2011 by Paul Tosto (9 Comments)

Comments this morning from Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, suggest we won't be seeing a whole lot of movement soon in the battle between legislative Republicans and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton over a state budget.


"Only Gov. Dayton can end this shutdown..." Koch wrote in a prepared statement.

Koch renews the GOP's call for Dayton to open a special session to pass spending bills the two sides agree on. Dayton has refused to call a special session until an overall spending deal is reached.

While there's only about a $1.4 billion gap between the Republican and DFL spending plans, Dayton wants to raise taxes on Minnesotans earning more than $1 million a year while Republicans say the budget must be balanced without raising taxes.

"The costs associated with this shut down are staggering," Koch writes. "Estimates of unemployment benefits, lost revenue to the state, uncollected audits, delays in construction projects and the loss of private sector spending comes in at nearly $65 million per week.

Bottom line: The rhetoric is not easing off at this point.

Comments (9)

I say get rid of the whole lot of them and replace them with people who can do the job not bankrupt the people and state of Minnesota!!! I for one had enough embarrassment to last me a while.

Posted by bernie | July 11, 2011 11:43 AM

As a state employee myself, I would be looking at possible permanent layoff or the necessity to find another job if Gov Dayton wasn't standing so firmly behind his principles. The Republicans were asking for tremendous paycuts and layoffs to balance the current budget. We state employees are all "necessary" to the continued high level of services and wonderful living that Minnesota does offer. I'd like the current politicians to remember "Minnesota Nice" and finish this standoff fairly to all citizens and employees of Minnesota.

Posted by 283Banfil | July 11, 2011 12:01 PM

Couldn't agree with previous comment more!! I'm embarrassed to have these incompetent people running our state. Won't be voting for any incumbent either. If my husband weren't out of a job because of this, I'd buy each of them a dictionary so they can look up the word 'compromise.' Holding my breath that they can be grownups and get their jobs done!! Little known fact...George Washington warned of impending dangers in choosing political parties.

Posted by Melissa | July 11, 2011 12:02 PM

Isn't it nice when you see a presumably adult person abdicate any and all responsibility for their actions?

Regardless of which side you agree with it's a simple fact that either side can end it and are simply choosing not to for their own reasons. I don't care if Koch isn't willing to compromise but she's doesn't even have the spine to take ownership of her decision. What a cop-out, what a wimp.

Posted by Jim | July 11, 2011 12:12 PM

Amy Koch is right. Dayton is the leader, and where is he? Lock everyone in a room until they make a deal. But...

This is the usual MN political show down. One side is stuck on "tax the rich" and on the other side is stuck on "no new taxes". We have a revenue, and a spending problem -- so freeze spending at current levels and increase some usage fees where MN lags the nation, and adjust the current top rate from 7.85% to 8.00%.

Really the impasse on $1.4 billion gap on a $34 billion dollar budget is Dayton's childish intransigence on his millionaire tax, and the Republican's refusal to compromise on raising revenue's in any way. They need to do both in a minor way, hold down the spending and slightly increase revenue. It's only politics, as usual.

Posted by lex parsimoniae | July 11, 2011 12:21 PM

Amy Koch is flat-wrong. If she wants a special session called, all she has to do is walk into Governor Dayton's office and agree to any one of the seven proposals he has made to increase revenue since the shutdown started. Or offer her own. It's really that simple and she knows it.

Do your job, Amy Koch! When you accepted the post of Senate Majority Leader, you took on the responsibility to work for ALL Minnesotans, not just your district or your caucus.

Posted by Snyder | July 11, 2011 12:38 PM

Minnesota cant be spending that kind of money. and if Dayton doesnt see that then i say he needs to go. i am a teenager and i can tell that he is being imature and childish. We should not be taxing people that work really hard and earn millions of dollars. If the rich people of minnesota start to get taxed then they will just move to another state, and we will be even more screwed.

Posted by cj | July 11, 2011 12:42 PM

There should not be a state shutdown if people can not do there job. What should have been done is, the people who can not agree, they do not get paid!!!!!! Plus why are we still paying state Tax's when it is shutdown, where is our money going?

Posted by Molly | July 11, 2011 12:43 PM

I am personally getting tired of everyone pointing fingers. Not just the politicians.

I think both sides share the blame but when one side or the other wants all their demands on the table but claims the other side cant have some of their demands... that seems to me to be a little hypocritical.

Every single bipartisan group has said we need cuts and revenue. Both at the national and state level. It would be wonderful if we could just stay with what we spent last year but guess what? Health care costs keep going up. I would like to see what Sen Koch would say to someones face when they lose access the health and human services program they rely on because of the cuts she and her caucus want?

Posted by Matt | July 11, 2011 3:27 PM

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