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Budget Bill Veto Letters

Budget Bill Veto Letters

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Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed all of the budget bills passed by the Republican-held Legislature on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, the day after the end of the session.
Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed all of the budget bills passed by the Republican-held Legislature on Tuesday, May 24, 2011, the day after the end of the session.

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Categories:Types, Letters
Published by: Minnesota Public Radio on May 24, 2011
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STATEOFMINNESOTA
OfficeofGovernorMarkDayton
130StateCapitol.75Rev.Dr.MartinLutherKingJr.Boulevard.SaintPaul,MN55155May24,2011TheHonorableKurtZellersSpeakeroftheHouseStateOfficeBuilding,Room463100Rev.Dr.MartinLutherKing,Jr.Blvd.St.Paul,Minnesota55155DearMr.Speaker:Withthisletter,IamvetoingandreturningChapter42,HouseFile934,theEducationFinanceBill.Idosowiththehopethatwecancometogethertofindacompromise:abalancedsolutionwithoutthedamagingcutsandharmfulpolicyitemscontainedinthislegislation.LegislatorsfrombothpartieshaveworkedwellwithEducationCommissionerCasselliusandwithme,tofindareasofcommonwithinthisbill.Ithankthemfortheirthoughtfulandpersistentwork.EnsuringanexcellenteducationforallMinnesotastudentsshouldbeamongourhighestbudgetpriorities.Havingworkedtogetheronthealternativepathwaystolicensurebill,Iknowwecanfindcompromise.Iamencouragedbythepotentialtofindcommongroundinthisbillinearlyreadingproficiencyandrecognitionofhigh-achievingschools.Iamhopefulthatwecanbuildonthoseareasofagreement.Unfortunately,thisEducationFinanceBillwouldhaveveryharmfuleffectsonstudents,onteachers,andonschools.Iwillnotsignaneducationfundingbillthatpitsstudent-against-studentordistrict-against-district.Ihaveconsistentlystatedmyintentiontoincreaseeducationfunding,whichiswhymyoriginalbudgetincluded$36millioninnewfundingforschools.Subsequently,inagreementwiththeLegislature'sdesiretoputadditionalmoneyontheperpupilformula,Iproposedtoincreasetheformulaallowanceby$50perpupilineachfiscalyearofthebiennium,foratotalof$164millioninneweducationinvestments.Bycontrast,thisbillcutsschoolfundingbynearly$44millionbelowcurrentbase-fundinglevel.Withinthosereductions,itunfairlyanddisproportionatelyshiftsfundingamongschooldistricts.Thecutstospecialeducationwouldcreatesignificantfundinggapsthatwouldforceschooldistrictstoshiftfundsfromgeneraleducationprograms,increaseclasssizes,orraisepropertytaxes,justtomaintaintheircurrentlevelsofspecialeducationservices.
Voice:(651)201-3400or(800)657-3717Website:http://governor.state.mn.usFax:(651)797-1850MNRelay(800)627-3529AnEqualOpportunityEmployer
Printedonrecycledpapercontaining15%postconsumermaterialandstategovernmentprinted
 
TheHonorableKurtZellersMay24,2011Page2Additionally,theeliminationofintegrationrevenueandfreezingofcompensatoryrevenuewrongfullyharmspoorchildrenandchildrenofcolor,whichIwillnotaccept.NoneofCommissionerCasselliusandmyeducationproposalsarecontainedinthisbill;mostnotably,fundingforoptionalall-dayKindergartenandinitiativesinearlychildhoodeducation.Thebillalsocontainsnumerouspolicies,includingschoolgrading,collectivebargaininglimitations,teacherevaluation,andCommonCoreprohibitions,whicharecontroversial,arepunitivetoteachers,andhavelittleresearchtosupporttheirefficacyinimprovingstudentlearningandclosingachievementgaps.Iamdisappointedthatthebillcreatesaprivateschoolvoucherprogram,anexperimentthathasnotworkedinotherstates.Untilourpublicschoolsarefundedatadequateandsustainablelevels,adiversionofpublicdollarstoprivateschoolsisunwise.ThefundingcutstotheDepartmentofEducationwerereducedinthisbill,whichIcertainlyappreciate.However,whencombinedwiththe15%staffreductionsintheStateGovernmentbill,theagencywouldbefacedwiththelossofatleast30fulltimeemployees.Cutsofthisnature,ontopofeightyearsofcumulativebudgetreductions,wouldfurtherhindertheDepartment'salreadylimitedcapacitytoprovidetechnicalassistance,support,andoversighttoschoolsthroughoutMinnesota.Budgetsareaboutpriorities,andprioritiesareaboutchoices.Wecanchoosetoworktogether,compromise,andcreateabudgetthatfairlyspreadstheburdenwemustallshoulderifwearetoweatherthesetoughtimesandpositionMinnesotaforfuturesuccess.Iknowthatworkingtogetherwecancreateareform-mindedblueprintforourstate'sK-12education,ofwhichwecanallbeproud.Eachofusstartedourbudgetproposalsbymakingachoice.Ichoseabalancedapproachtoourbudget;onethatincludedbothsignificantcuts,butaskedthetoptwopercentofMinnesotanstopaymoretoensureourqualityoflifeandtheservicesmillionsofMinnesotansdependon.Myapproachchoosesnottobalancethebudgetonthebacksoftheotherninety-eightpercentofMinnesotans.Inthespiritofcompromise,morethanoneweekago,Icutmyproposalinhalf,inthehopesthatanoffertomeetinthemiddlewouldspuractiontowardsthebalancedsolutionthepeopleofMinnesotahaveaskedfor.Instead,youchosetopresentmewithanall-cutsapproach,onethathasseriousconsequencesforMinnesotans,andthatIdonotbelieveisinlinewithoursharedcommitmenttobuildabetterMinnesota.
 
TheHonorableKurtZellersMay24,2011Page3Fromthebeginningofthislegislativesession,ithasbeenclearthatcompromisewouldbenecessarytobalanceourstate'sbudget.InNovember,Minnesotansvotedforadividedgovernment,andIbelieve,intheirwisdom,theydidsobecausetheywantpartofwhateachofushastooffer,andtheywantustoworktogethertosolvethestate'sbudgetcrisisandbuildabetterMinnesota.Compromiseisnevereasy,becauseeachpersonmustgiveupsomethingthatisimportant.Compromiserequiresustoagreetoitemsthatwedon'tagreewith.Thatistheonlywaywewillreconcileourdifferencesonthestate'sbudget.Iamreturningthisbilltoyouwiththehopethatyouwillchoosetoworkwithme,tofindafair,responsible,andbalancedsolution.MarkDaytonGovernorcc:SenatorMichelle
L.
Fischbach,PresidentoftheSenateSenatorAmyT.Koch,MajorityLeaderSenatorThomasM.Bakk,MinorityLeaderSenatorGenOlsonRepresentativePaulThissen,MinorityLeaderRepresentativePatGarafoloTheHonorableMarkRitchie,SecretaryofStateMr.CalR.Ludeman,SecretaryoftheSenateMr.AlbinA.Mathiowetz,ChiefClerkoftheHouseofRepresentatives

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