Yesterday was a major day at the State Capitol. This afternoon, Governor Mark Dayton accepted Republicans’ invitation to meet with us and discuss the state’s budget. It was a respectful and civil meeting where we all discussed our principles for how we should balance the budget for the next two years.
I believe we have met the Governor halfway in our goal of balancing the budget by Monday. Governor Dayton began the year wanting to raise state tax collections to $37 billion. We collect $31 billion now. Republicans decided to meet in the middle. We did this without raising taxes, the slowly improving economy created $3 billion more tax revenue.
It is fair to say I was disappointed with the Governor’s insistence that we pass a tax increase and spend well over $35 billion. His proposal is not the middle, it is on the wrong side of compromise. He has indicated he will veto our budget, which would almost certainly force a special session. That isn’t something Minnesota needs. We need to get our work done, compromise on a budget that grows spending $3 billion without raising taxes, and let the economy continue its path to recovery.