Gov. Mark Dayton says Republicans in the Legislature need to reach agreement on a state budget, meanwhile Republicans say the governor needs to begin negotiating with them.
Dayton told reporters Friday that he's growing concerned that time is running out with less than three weeks left in the legislative session. The House and Senate both passed their respective budget bills but are negotiating their differences in conference committee. Dayton said he won't start talking specifics with them until the House and Senate agree on a plan.
"I don't favor an all cuts budget," Dayton said. "I don't agree with either one of their proposals in their significant respects, so I'm not going to go in there and choose between two proposals that I disagree with and I've made that clear for the last six weeks."
Republicans say they don't intend to send Dayton budget bills that are certain to be vetoed. They say they want Dayton to start negotiating with the House and Senate now. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said Dayton's proposed tax hike is unacceptable. She said Dayton should start talking with House and Senate conference committees now.
"Those conference committees will be concluding their work as soon as we can, but we really want to see engagement and agreement with the governor because we don't like the idea of sending those up for a veto," Koch said. "We want to get a signature on them."
Dayton said the Republican budget is more than $1 billion out of balance and that the budget savings in the Republican budget will never materialize.