Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton is defending new contracts for more than 27,000 state employees ahead of a legislative panel's vote.
Dayton called the contracts "reasonable" and in line with those negotiated by his Republican predecessor, Tim Pawlenty, in a letter Wednesday to the lead Republicans on the Subcommittee on Employee Relations.
The subcommittee is scheduled to vote on the contracts Thursday after Republicans who control the panel expressed disappointment with the terms at a hearing three weeks ago.
The contracts include a 2 percent raise for all state workers.
A no vote would hold up the contracts until the full Legislature can vote next year.
Dayton is accusing the Republicans of "trying to drive a wedge between public and private sector employees."