Governor rejects higher-education bill

Just got this from the governor's office.

Above is the letter regarding Dayton's veto of the higher-ed bill, which he said led to the "deepest cuts to higher education in our state's history."

Update: Quick summary of topics:

Budget cuts. They're "far too extreme," and would lead to a lower-quality work force for Minnesota's employers.

Tuition caps. He called these "unwise," because they'd restrict the systems' abilities to deal with funding cuts, and said tuition should be left to the regents and trustees.

OHE: He says cuts to the state Office of Higher Education would limit its effectiveness under cuts amounting to a 42% reduction in staff.

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Anti-cloning language. He calls it "vague" and warns that it could threaten further stem-cell research. He thinks the U of M and Mayo Clinic should approve language affecting areas such as that.

Below is his general statement on all his vetoes of the budget bills so far:

Governor Dayton vetoes budget bills, calls for balanced approach and compromise

Today, Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the nine budget bills passed by the Republican legislature in the closing days of session, and returned the bills along with veto messages outlining areas of both agreement and concern.

In his veto letters, Governor Dayton outlined the stark differences and the need for compromise:

“Each of us started our budget proposals by making a choice.  I chose a balanced approach to our budget; one that included both significant cuts, but asked the top two percent of Minnesotans to pay more to ensure our quality of life and the services millions of Minnesotans depend on.  My approach chooses not to balance the budget on the backs of the other ninety-eight percent of Minnesotans.

“In the spirit of compromise, more than one week ago, I cut my proposal in half, in the hopes that an offer to meet in the middle would spur action towards the balanced solution the people of Minnesota have asked for.

“Instead, you chose to present me with an all-cuts approach, one that has serious consequences for Minnesotans, and that I do not believe is in line with our shared commitment to build a better Minnesota.

“From the beginning of this legislative session, it has been clear that compromise would be necessary to balance our state’s budget.  In November, Minnesotans voted for a divided government, and I believe, in their wisdom, they did so because they want part of what each of us has to offer, and they want us to work together to solve the state’s budget crisis and build a better Minnesota.

“Compromise is never easy, because each person must give up something that is important.  Compromise requires us to agree to items that we don’t agree with.  That is the only way we will reconcile our differences on the state’s budget.  I am returning this and the other budget bills to you with the hope that you will choose to work with me, to find a fair, responsible, and balanced solution.”

Governor Dayton released his budget proposal on February 15, 2011.  Since that time, he has twice revised his budget in search of compromise.  Last night, as the legislature adjourned, he noted, “Here we are, on the last night of session --- I’m in the middle, and they haven’t moved.”