Minn. Gov. Willing to Take GOP Offer, End Shutdown

Thursday, 14 Jul 2011 06:43 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota's Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton offered major concessions Thursday in a bid to end a government shutdown, dropping his pursuit of tax hikes to say he was willing to accept a Republican offer made just before the state closed for business two weeks ago.

Dayton attached significant conditions to his offer. He said Republicans must drop a list of policy changes and a plan to reduce the state workforce by 15 percent. In exchange, he would sign off on a Republican proposal that would raise $1.4 billion, half by delaying state aid checks to school districts and the other half by selling tobacco payment bonds.

"I believe this is the best option for Minnesota," a weary-sounding Dayton said after announcing his offer in a speech at the University of Minnesota. "I know in my soul that I am doing what I believe."

Aides said GOP leaders were reviewing Dayton's offer and had no immediate comment. The governor said he had invited them to meet Thursday afternoon, but no meeting was set.

If the Republicans agree to Dayton's proposal and the pieces fall into place, the first-term governor said he is prepared to call a special session within three days.

The Minnesota impasse was months in the making, with Dayton insisting on raising income taxes on the highest earners to soften the effect of budget cuts necessary to resolve a $5 billion deficit. More recently, Dayton had offered to consider an array of other ways to raise revenue, including cigarette and alcohol taxes and a broader sales tax.

As the shutdown persisted, the pressure for a resolution has intensified.

The partisan standoff has closed state parks and rest stops, prevented many people from getting licenses they need to launch careers or move ahead with businesses, and cut off funding streams to countless social service programs. It has also cost the state millions in preparation costs and lost revenue.

Dayton has been on the road this week, holding public events around the state, and said he received a clear message from the people he met: End the shutdown.

"They want this resolved and they don't even care how. I care how," Dayton told a University of Minnesota audience in Minneapolis.

Dayton said he is reluctant to accept the Republicans' way out of the budget impasse.

"Despite my serious reservations about your plan, I have concluded that continuing the state government shutdown would be even more destructive for too many Minnesotans," he said in a letter to GOP leaders that he read aloud. "Therefore, I am willing to agree to something I do not agree with — your proposal — in order to spare our citizens and our state from further damage."

Dayton is also asking lawmakers to approve a construction projects bill totaling at least $500 million.

___

Lohn reported from St. Paul.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Newt Gingrich: Sony Hack Is America's First Cyberwar Defeat

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 22:43 PM

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says Sony Pictures' decision to cancel the release of the movie "The Interview" in th . . .

Obama Commutes Sentences of 8 Nonviolent Drug Offenders

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 22:31 PM

President Barack Obama is cutting short the sentences of eight federal drug offenders, including four who were set to di . . .

MLK III: It's 'Insanity' to Say 'Kill the Cops'

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 22:03 PM

Martin Luther King III, son of the civil rights icon, told Fox News on Wednesday that he doesn't think most of the peopl . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved