With just days remaining before a government shutdown, legislative leaders and I continue our call for Governor Dayton to bring us back to work.
Minnesota does not need a government shutdown, and Minnesota does not need higher taxes. During the regular session the legislature passed a complete budget that increases state spending within government's means, and since the Governor vetoed our budget leadership has continually offered compromise proposals that meet many of Gov. Dayton's requests. Negotiations continue, but it is not yet clear whether the Governor will move from his tax-and-spend approach to a compromise position.
On our end, compromise offers include: an additional $80 million for K-12 education (on top of the 3.2% total K-12 funding increase in the original budget); increased funding for public safety and the judiciary by another $30 million; and proposed removal of our tax relief measures in exchange for the Governor dropping his income tax hike. Unfortunately all of these offers were met with swift rejection.
Yesterday I joined legislative leadership from both the House and Senate, Mayor Ken Harycki, and others at a press conference to point out the damage a government shutdown holds for our community and others across the state.
We addressed reporters in front of the Stillwater Lift Bridge, which potentially could close during a government shutdown. The impact this would have on our residents, hospitals and ambulance drivers, and downtown economy is severe. The bridge is an illustration of why we do not need a government shutdown, and why the governor must call us back to work so we can finish our job for the people of Minnesota.
I will keep you updated as negotiations between legislative leadership and the Governor continue. It appears progress is being made, but the Governor must understand that we will not raise taxes on Minnesota families and job creators. In the coming days, your input and involvement is as important as ever. So please, do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts, feedback or questions.
You can also call Governor Dayton at 651-201-3400 and tell him to call the Legislature back to work. We're ready and waiting, and like you, looking forward to creating a stronger Minnesota for us all.