Budget offers are traded and discussions continue
Tuesday started with an brief meeting between Governor Dayton and legislative leaders. After a brief exchange of when conversations would continue, the parties gathered back together again at 1:30 in the Governor’s Cabinet room in the State Capitol.
Governor Dayton and Republican legislative leaders met for half an hour, where Dayton presented a new budget offer including less spending and more tax cuts than his original proposal.
Dayton’s proposal included $208 million more in tax cuts and hundreds of millions of dollars less in spending on education, health and human services and other areas. Dayton came down about $50 million from his original higher education recommendation. However, Republicans criticized Dayton for asking to pay for roads with a license tab fee increase — a proposal Daudt believed “has been off the table for some time.”
Later in the afternoon, Republican leaders came back to meet with the Governor to present their counter proposal.
A major move by Republicans was in the area of taxes – down scaling their offer to $875 million – a significant shift from their original position of $1.1 billion. Leaders raised the higher education target to $175 million – still $90 million from the Governor’s earlier offer that day.
In a promising sign, the Governor and leaders did agree on the Agriculture Finance target, the smallest of the budget bills which covers the MN Department of Agriculture and other farm-related measures.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.