Minn. budget talks resume, but no movement on K-12by Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Republicans are criticizing Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton for not attending a meeting Tuesday to discuss K-12 spending.
Republicans say Dayton's staff said he would be there, but he didn't show up.
"It's very difficult when the governor doesn't show up and we need the governor to come out and play," said Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington. "We need him here to help reach an agreement on this."
The governor's spokesman said Dayton was in another meeting and would have been alerted if Republicans brought anything new to the table.
Sen. Leroy Stumpf, DFL-Plummer, said it's hard to negotiate the K-12 bill without an agreement between Dayton and GOP legislative leaders on how much the state has to spend.
"When you don't have some kind of a target, or basically an overall plan, it doesn't help very much to try to solve the details because you're basically going around in a circle," Stumpf said.
Dayton and GOP legislative leaders are scheduled to meet this Monday afternoon to discuss the budget. Dayton wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota's top earners to help erase a projected $5 billion dollar deficit. Republicans say the state has enough money and needs to cut spending.
Without a new budget by the end of June, most of state government would shut down July 1.