Governor vetoes bills, GOP touts them - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Governor vetoes bills, GOP touts them

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The 2011 legislative session officially ended at midnight Monday morning, but the work is far from over. Governor Dayton vetoed all of the budget bills sent to him last week, while GOP leaders flew around the state to rally support for those now defunked bills.

We've heard repeatedly from the governor this week that he has moved half way from his originally proposal in order to find a compromise. Now republicans are saying it's time for the governor to move half way on their proposal.

Nearly 12 hours after the gavel came down on the 2011 legislative session, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed nine major budget bills that would keep the state operating for the next two years, throwing the legislature into overtime.

"I think reasonable people will conclude that I came half way and offered to meet them half way and they stayed stuck where they were. It takes two sides to compromise," exclaims Governor Dayton.

With the budget debate primarily focused on a proposed tax increase, Governor Dayton compromised by cutting that proposal in half, asking the wealthiest Minnesotans to bring in nearly $1.8 billion more in taxes. Now republicans are asking Dayton to meet them half way, moving from his $36 billion budget down to $34, since they moved to $34 billion from $32.

"I think a little bit of overtime is absolutely appropriate when we're talking about that big of a budget and making sure it's done right," says House Speaker Kurt Zellers.

As for raising taxes, it's a non-starter for republicans.

"We have a budget that balances, one that lives within its means, what they told us to do when we came to the legislature," explains republican representative Steve Drazkowski.

But Dayton implied in a news conference the real sticking point comes when trying to compromise with the new legislators at the Capitol.

"The intransigence is rooted in this group that doesn't really know much about government, doesn't care about government, just thinks any number lower than the one before it is better without understanding what those consequences are."

But as long as both sides cling to their campaign promises...

"We hope that if May 23rd wasn't a serious deadline for him, July first is."

A government shutdown becomes more and more of a likely scenario.

GOP leaders did say they're doubtful they have enough votes for a veto override. Governor Dayton says he will wait to call a special session, in hopes they can find a solution beforehand. When he does call for the session, it's also possible we could see a Vikings stadium bill come through, as well as aid for tornado victims.

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