Minnesota Legislature Approves $6 Billion Transportation Package

Dayton told leaders that the "bill has many positive features", including a child care tax credit, increase aid for local governments and lower property taxes on farmland.

"It's very unfortunate. One branch of government can not shut down another branch of government".

But while they traveled the state, they were waiting for Governor Dayton to decide the fate of several spending bills. But the DFL governor opted to line-item veto almost $65 million in funding for the Minnesota Legislature.

Dayton signed the tax bill to protect funding for the department, he said, but he eliminated funding for the Legislature in a state government bill in order to compel lawmakers back to the negotiation table to discuss a number of provisions.

Dahms said he feared any vetoes would send negotiators back to their original positions, and lead to them digging in.

Barring any legal action, funding for the Minnesota House and Senate would dry up July 1.

The one day session turned into three due to the logistics of revising bills, finding mistakes and revising them again, and as some legislators sought to introduce changes to bills that had been agreed on earlier.

GOP leaders said they did not think a special session would be needed and Dayton did not indicate when he might call one, other than to say it only would be after an agreement is reached on his bills.

Dayton also signed a almost $1 billion package of bonding projects and a bill that funds projects through the Legacy Amendment, but he issued a veto on a bill that included a pre-emption proposal, which would have blocked local governments from setting their own wage and paid leave laws. Not only did the Legislature move forward with a budget, but it cleaned up some of the items left on the table previous year, such as Real ID.

Dayton also wants to discuss a teacher licensure provision he signed into law in the education budget bill, as well as a controversial provision to bar the Department of Public Safety from issuing driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants, which was tucked into the public safety budget bill.

"It's a tool that should never be used".

Republican Legislative leaders flew in to Moorhead this afternoon to talk about the session before the governor made his decision.

Veteran Rep. Gene Pelowski said Dayton's actions are a first. "We came up with a real good compromise".

However, the Democratic governor said, the Republican-written bill also contains items he opposes, including reversing tobacco tax increases.

Davids, chairman of the House Taxes Committee, bristles at the suggestion his tax bill favors the wealthy and corporations. He said he doesn't think fellow Republicans will be willing to negotiate with the governor following his move to defund the Legislature.

Daudt challenged the governor's use of the words "poison pill" and "sneak attack" regarding the Revenue Department provision in the tax bill.

  • Larry Hoffman