STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Dayton rejects 2 biggest bills passed by GOP-led Legislature

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed the tax conformity and budget bills that state lawmakers passed in the waning days of the session.

Posted: May 23, 2018 11:12 AM
Updated: May 23, 2018 3:03 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed massive tax and budget bills on Wednesday that Minnesota lawmakers passed in the waning days of the session, setting off a cascade of consequences that he blamed on Republican majorities for not negotiating in earnest.

While Dayton's veto was largely expected, top Republicans responded Wednesday by calling it "vindictive" and branding the governor "a failure."

The Democratic governor's veto of the tax bill means all Minnesota taxpayers will face a more complex filing season next year, and some families and businesses may be taxed more heavily. It also prevents funding going out for schools to make security improvements, money to help public schools fill budget deficits, reimbursement for local offices who have struggled with the state's new driver registration system, opioid abuse prevention efforts and more.

The Legislature had already passed a two-year budget last year. Dayton's veto means some major tweaks and top priorities won't become law.

Dayton said the Republican tax bill was skewed too heavily toward corporations and wealthier residents, noting a modest income tax rate cut would net larger benefits for the highest earners.

He called the bills a result of political gamesmanship and not sound policymaking.

"They wanted their talking points, they wanted re-election, election campaign slogans. And that's exactly what they're already doing," Dayton said. "Reaching an agreement with me was not part of their game plan."

Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and House Speaker Kurt Daudt said they were blindsided by the vetoes, with Daudt lashing out at Dayton: "This session isn't a failure. Our governor is a failure."

Gazelka said rattled off a long list of Minnesota residents who he said would be harmed by Dayton's decision, including people with disabilities and their caretakers who face a budget cut and Secretary of State Steve Simon, who needed authorization to access federal money to boost election cybersecurity.

"In the end, it feels impulsive, it feels vindictive and it didn't help anybody in Minnesota," Gazelka said.

Dayton isn't seeking a third term. Members of the House, currently controlled by Republicans 77-56, are up for election in November. Senators are not on the ballot.

Dayton accused Republicans of loading up a massive budget bill to try to force his signature, including funding for opioid abuse prevention and revamping oversight of senior care facilities. Republicans argued they removed more than half of the provisions Dayton had demanded be pulled out and stressed they provided $225 million to 59 Minnesota schools suffering budget shortfalls — though less than a quarter of that funding was new money.

Dayton called it "fake education funding."

And one of the marquee issues of the session remains unfinished. The Legislature needed to tweak its tax code to account for the big federal overhaul passed late last year.

Department of Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly, the state's top tax official, said work is underway to make sure Minnesotans can still easily file their taxes even without a so-called conformity bill. She said no vendors such as TurboTax have indicated they would leave Minnesota or raise their prices, but that residents who itemize their taxes may need to answer more questions or provide more receipts.

Dayton downplayed the consequences of the legislative impasse, and reiterated that he would not call lawmakers back to try again in a special session. He suggested lawmakers could make corrections to the tax code when a new Legislature — and governor — returns in January.

"I'm not saying that's a good way to approach this, but the sky is not falling," he said. "It could and should have been avoided," Dayton said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 456490

Reported Deaths: 6174
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin947071506
Ramsey40752750
Dakota33684355
Anoka31437368
Washington20627237
Stearns18137190
St. Louis14032251
Scott1224899
Wright11831107
Olmsted1085175
Sherburne831970
Carver706139
Clay661384
Rice625674
Kandiyohi559172
Blue Earth549633
Crow Wing491178
Otter Tail465468
Chisago461838
Benton424388
Winona395648
Douglas380366
Nobles374847
Mower374729
Goodhue359163
Polk330860
McLeod328947
Beltrami316648
Morrison314845
Lyon306340
Becker290039
Itasca288043
Isanti286543
Carlton285243
Steele279610
Pine270815
Freeborn254923
Todd233730
Nicollet230938
Brown219134
Mille Lacs216145
Le Sueur215016
Cass211024
Meeker201733
Waseca193916
Wabasha17493
Martin172126
Roseau166617
Hubbard151438
Redwood141427
Houston141114
Dodge14014
Renville138740
Chippewa133432
Cottonwood129218
Fillmore12838
Wadena120918
Rock112212
Aitkin111633
Faribault110316
Sibley11017
Watonwan10708
Pennington101316
Kanabec100118
Pipestone97523
Yellow Medicine95017
Murray9137
Jackson87510
Swift84718
Pope7485
Stevens7078
Marshall70315
Clearwater68814
Lake66515
Lac qui Parle66116
Wilkin63510
Koochiching61010
Lincoln4912
Big Stone4703
Grant4398
Unassigned43568
Norman4268
Mahnomen4177
Kittson37420
Red Lake3214
Traverse2673
Lake of the Woods1991
Cook1160

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313284

Reported Deaths: 4437
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk47198465
Linn18187280
Scott15975172
Black Hawk14184243
Woodbury13161181
Johnson1234453
Dubuque11678159
Pottawattamie9204115
Dallas915472
Story886638
Cerro Gordo476172
Webster475077
Warren463939
Clinton461068
Sioux460757
Marshall433262
Buena Vista397731
Muscatine397379
Des Moines396243
Plymouth354270
Wapello353098
Jasper335159
Lee327132
Marion312253
Jones275650
Henry269931
Carroll258934
Bremer251048
Crawford235524
Boone224717
Washington224333
Benton214550
Mahaska198937
Jackson196532
Tama191659
Dickinson189429
Kossuth182244
Delaware177736
Clay173421
Wright167824
Fayette166824
Buchanan162924
Hamilton162930
Winneshiek161420
Harrison159162
Hardin158731
Cedar156819
Clayton154349
Butler152524
Page148715
Floyd142036
Cherokee140527
Mills139017
Lyon138233
Poweshiek136024
Hancock133024
Allamakee131630
Iowa128522
Madison126210
Calhoun12409
Grundy123428
Winnebago123329
Jefferson122625
Mitchell117337
Louisa116830
Cass115443
Chickasaw114012
Appanoose113340
Sac113215
Union112823
Emmet111332
Shelby108027
Humboldt107819
Guthrie104624
Franklin104018
Unassigned10290
Palo Alto92611
Montgomery90024
Keokuk86526
Howard86419
Monroe82820
Clarke8219
Pocahontas78811
Ida76930
Davis70421
Adair69820
Greene6987
Monona69618
Lucas67110
Osceola65011
Worth6224
Taylor6029
Fremont5296
Van Buren50615
Decatur5004
Ringgold46311
Audubon4278
Wayne42021
Adams3023
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 3°
Feels Like: 8°
Mason City
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: 2°
Feels Like: 0°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 21° Lo: 4°
Feels Like: 5°
Austin
Clear
wxIcon
Hi: 20° Lo: 4°
Feels Like: 7°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
wxIcon
Hi: 19° Lo: 2°
Feels Like: 1°
Tracking a potential storm this weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events