Did Representative Tom Emmer shake hands with Mark Dayton on releasing his budget cuts at the debate in Duluth?
Yes, and a complicated long long yes…
“Over the next several weeks, and we already have”, is his later answer to an audience member.
Yes, it appears Mark Dayton agrees to submit his plan to the Department of Revenue, which is the one true test of a Budget Plan according to Emmer, Dayton says he will if Emmer will explain by Friday exactly what he’ll cut from a six billion dollar deficit budget projected, and then it looks like they shake hands.
The difference in budget outlooks, comes up many times in the Duluth debate. In a second clip on the above video Emmer insists again that Dayton submit his budget to the Department of Revenue, and Dayton responds, “I already have”, in both clips, Dayton tells Emmer he has submitted his budget to the Department of Revenue, but it’s only the second time that Emmer takes that in.
And the third clip, near the end of the debate, audience members were allowed to ask questions, and we hear from someone in the audience : “Was that a real handshake promise between you two?”, to Dayton submit your budget, and Emmer submit your budget cuts? The audience member asks for a yes or no, and Emmers response, explains that he sees no deficit, and he will cut taxes to stimulate the economy and grow it through more jobs and then more revenue, he’s already released his jobs plan, and more will come out within the next few weeks. That’s his yes.
At Governor’s debates, Representative Emmer does repeatedly mention his intent to pass immediately if elected the “First Things First Law”, that would enable him to declare a “Fiscal Emergency”, if revenue did not match expenditures, the Governor would have to deliver a budget within a month, and then the pressure would be on the legislature to come up with the cuts. Emmer wants a tool besides unallotment, but what he may really mean is, he wants that tool with a new name. You have to ask too, what are the chances of First Things First bill passing, and getting over the dead bodies of the Democrats? So, his First Things First Bill, may not be a plan, so much as a wish it seems.
This “Budget Cuts Handshake” came up today, at the DFL Press Conference, pointing out the difference in Pawlenty’s and Emmer’s description of the current budget. Pawlenty sees red ink and overspending, Emmer sees increased revenue and “living within our means”, but details no budget cuts from the current budget as written. DFL Chair Brian Melendez and WCCO reporter Pat Kessler both mention the handshake, assuming it is a promise from Emmer to release budget cut details by Friday.
So did Emmer shake hands to release his budget cuts?