Democrats’ unprecedented violation of special session agreement further jeopardized state budget
(St. Paul, MN)… Senate Republicans delivered a victory for the people of Minnesota today, finally bringing the long, drawn-out legislative session to a close and averting a government shutdown. Until Republicans stepped in, Senate Democrats failed to pass their negotiated bipartisan budget agreement. In a desperate maneuver, Senate Democrat leadership violated the bipartisan contract made by all four caucus leaders and Gov. Dayton, putting the fragile state budget compromise at risk.
The primary sticking point was a bill funding the agriculture and environment budget. The bill, which eventually passed with a majority of Republican votes, includes emergency funding to fight the avian flu outbreak and promotes economic growth in the agriculture industry.
“Today’s unnecessary budget standoff was created by Senate Democrats, who couldn’t put aside their differences long enough to pass their agreed-upon bills. Senate Republicans were happy to provide the leadership needed to deliver a positive solution for Minnesotans,” said Senate Republican Leader David Hann.
During last-minute negotiations with Democrat leaders, Senate Republicans were also able to secure significant, specific tax reductions to be included in a 2016 tax bill. A smaller tax bill was stalled this year after Senate Democrats tried to use it as a bargaining chip for their biggest priority – an increase to the gas tax – which Republicans refused to agree to. The new agreement calls for substantial Republican tax cuts to be added to already-planned reductions in the existing bill.
Sen. Hann added, “We’re very satisfied with the concessions made by Democrats to deliver significant tax cuts in the next legislative session. This is a huge win for the taxpayers of Minnesota and something Senate Republicans have been fighting hard to achieve.”