Minnesota Senate Republicans don't like a compromise that gives Governor Dayton a one day window to reinstate or give larger raises to his commissioners. But they are overruled by House Republicans, Democrats and the governor who signed the measure into law shortly after it was passed on Thursday.
Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Daudt says one of the reasons Minnesota’s predicted budget surplus has increased is higher economic confidence since Republicans won a majority in Minnesota’s House last November. The state revenue forecast released today showed Minnesota will have a $1.86 billion surplus, an $832 million dollar increase from the last forecast. State revenues go up mostly because of increased sales tax revenue and income tax revenue.
“Part of this economic confidence is there is balance restored in state government,” Daudt told reporters.
Pioneer Press reporter Rachel Stassen-Berger almost immediately pressed Daudt if he “could reiterate that theory… the theory that this forecast is good because Republicans now have the House and there is balance restored to the Capitol? Tell me more about that.”
Daudt responded that Minnesota Democrats lost the House because the revenue forecast in November (also a surplus) showed that the policies Democrats put in place the last two years “didn’t help Minnesota’s families and didn’t help Minnesota’s economy.”
Daudt said the increase in this latest forecast is mostly because gas prices are low “But I think Minnesota’s economy also understands that we don’t have a runaway government that when we didn’t need to raise any taxes put in place one of the largest increases in state history.”
Governor Mark Dayton with Democratic majority in both the House and Senate raised the taxes on the top 2 percent of earners in Minnesota. Dayton was re-elected by a large majority.
“I think that people have confidence in that balance has been restored in state government,” said Daudt.
More reporter questions and video of the exchange
St. Paul City Councilman Dave Thune is retiring, leaving his ward 2 seat open this election. The DFL, the dominant party in St. Paul, met Sunday to consider endorsing a successor to Thune, but none of the candidates was close to the required 60%. All but one St. Paul ward failed to endorse a candidate.
A deal apparently brokered between House Republicans, Senate Democrats and Governor Dayton will allow the governor to raise the pay of his commissioners without legislative approval during a one day window on July 1, 2015.