Governor Mark Dayton expects he will be spending some time negotiating with legislative leaders once he gets to read all the bills they passed in the last few days of the regular session.
On Tuesday, Dayton reiterated his plan to veto the education bill as soon as it reached his desk because it didn’t fund his number one priority — free pre-kindergarten education. But the governor also said there may be other issues lurking in the bills sent to him that he might not like that could also be vetoed or part of the negotiating process.
Dayton was direct in his criticism of House Republicans, laying the blame for a special session on them. In a letter he sent to House Speaker Kurt Daudt, Dayton wrote, “it is incomprehensible that estate tax cuts for millionaires and property tax relief for large corporations are higher priorities for your House Republican Caucus than investing adequately in our students and young children.”
The House and the Senate did not agree on the tax cuts Dayton objected to, leaving more than a billion dollars of the state’s projected budget surplus unspent. Dayton would like some of that money spent on education. Republicans would like to save it and use it for tax cuts next year.
Special session specifics unknown
Dayton said he will not call a special session until he has negotiated agreements with House and Senate leaders on what topics will be covered and the basic outlines of how the bills will look.
The location of the session is just nebulous as the timing. The Capitol building is now shut down for renovations. The state constitution says any session of the legislature must be held in the city of St. Paul. Dayton says the Department of Administration is looking into possible locations.
Video at top: Dayton talks about his education bill veto
Video below: Entire Dayton press conference