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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Dayton Gets Creative On Policy While Keeping Govt Operating

Category: GOP House Republicans
Posted: 05/31/17 11:52, Edited: 05/31/17 11:53

by Dave Mindeman

I'm not sure what to make of the MN budget situation. It looks like Dayton has signed the budget bills but line item vetoed money for legislative operations.

It is a tactic brought about by frustration with negotiating with intractable Republicans and a genuine desire to keep the government operating without going into a budget shutdown.

What Dayton has done would require the legislature to negotiate their way back into funding their operations, without rehashing the entire budget again.

I understand what he is trying to do, but as with everything involving Daudt and his cohorts, it will become another war.

The MN GOP legislature is considering a lawsuit against Dayton for that line item veto. It would be a difficult case either way, but it would also take a lot of time. In the meantime, the legislature will run out of money to operate. As usual, Daudt's first inclination is to make it a publicity opportunity - rather than just agree to talks. Apparently, they are considering just eliminating next year's session altogether. Which could be done because there would be no absolutely necessary legislative matter. The State is funded for the biennium and they did pass a bonding bill. The opportunity for supplemental budgeting and adjustments and a smaller additional bonding bill would be forfeited.

I think it should be pretty clear that Dayton is doing what he thinks is in the best interest of the state. Unlike the rhetoric that Daudt throws around, Dayton does not like the idea of shutting down the government. He has used an unusual method to reopen negotiation on items he considers untenable while still keeping the state operational. I think that action is commendable, but it is difficult to publicly defend without a simple rationale.

Daudt is good at distorting the truth. He only vocalizes how it affects his side of the ledger and dismisses the needs of everyone else. And I am sure this will be no different.

He knew that he put his own leverage into the tax bill with the revenue department funding. If the revenue department can't operate, the state cannot operate. If Dayton vetoed that bill, he shuts it all down. With the GOP holding majorities in both Houses, the Democrats were powerless to stop it - although I think it should have been made public much sooner. But I suspect that Daudt, et al, buried it in the bill and moved it through during those last minute flurries when no one could read what was going on. This ridiculous tactic has to be stopped. It is NOT good government.

But Dayton tried to find a creative way to make his point and keep things going. Only time will tell if it will succeed. The Republicans will make it difficult.

They make everything in government difficult.
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