St. Paul, MN – Tonight, Governor Mark Dayton offered the following statement following the adjournment of the 2011 legislative session:
“Five months ago, we began this legislative session with clear goals: solve our budget deficit while getting Minnesota working again. Tonight, the Legislature adjourns having accomplished neither. While it’s disappointing, I remain resolved that we will find common ground and compromise on behalf of Minnesotans.
On February 15th, I presented a budget that was fair, responsible, and balanced. Budgets are about dollars and cents, but they’re also a reflection of our values and priorities. Minnesotans sent us here to make choices on their behalf. I chose to close the budget gap through a fair balance of spending cuts and asking the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans to pay their fair share in taxes.
Legislative leaders, instead, chose to adopt an extreme all-cuts budget, resulting in thousands of Minnesotans losing health care and deep cuts to seniors, special education, higher education, and property tax increases.
One week ago, I offered a fair and balanced compromise: to meet half-way between our two budget proposals. The Legislature refused to compromise, or even to budge one dollar from their position.
Here we are, on the last night of session — I’m in the middle, and they haven’t moved.
Minnesotans will judge for themselves the choices that were made at the Capitol over the last four months, which have resulted in the Legislature adjourning with no budget, no jobs, and no compromise. Tomorrow, I’ll still be here, waiting for the Legislature to take even one step toward the middle, and to answer the calls for balance and compromise we’re hearing from every corner of Minnesota.”