Mark Dayton Moves to End Minnesota State Government Shutdown

Jul 14, 2011, 11:23 by R.E. Christian

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton told the Republican statehouse leadership he accepts the GOP budget if it will end the state government shutdown.

Dayton, a Democrat, said in a letter he reluctantly agrees to the Republican proposal submitted June 30 -- the shutdown began July 1 -- to bridge the $1.4 billion gap between him and the Republican leadership, KMSP-TV, Minneapolis, reported.

If an agreement is in place, Dayton said, he would call a special legislative session to end the government shutdown within three days.

The broadcast report said the governor set several conditions: Policy issues must be removed from the budget; Republicans must drop a 15 percent across the board pay cut for all state employees and the Legislature must pass a $500 million bond bill.

Republican spokesman Michael Brodkorb said House leaders were looking at the governor's offer, but had no other comment.

"I'm glad that Governor Dayton dropped his need for tax increases but I am not a fan of shifting more money from schools," Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, said, KMSP reported. "This feels like more of a short term fix than the long-term structural reform we need. With that being said, I hope this deal brings an end to the shutdown."

For his part, Dayton said, "Ignorance and arrogance are a very dangerous combination. Makes a democracy difficult to function."

Source: UPI