Koch: Decision on government shutdown would be on Dayton

GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says the decision on a government shutdown "lies with the governor."

Koch, R-Buffalo, spoke to MPR's Morning Edition. She said she's looking forward to the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy hearing today.

"It's a way for people to fully understand the various budget proposals," she said. "We're looking forward to talking about our budget proposal and vet the governor's budget proposal."

Koch said Republicans want the revenue and finance commissioners to detail Gov. Mark Dayton's budget and proposed tax increases. She said she's also interested in hearing about a proposal to increase taxes in a way that wouldn't hurt small businesses.

"We're not interested in tax increases but we do want to talk about that proposal," Koch said. "It gets tossed around and people can offer compromises all day, but we really need to fully understand them."

Koch again argued that the GOP budget is increasing spending, despite the fact that federal stimulus money and a K-12 accounting shift was used in the last budget. She responded to that question in the interview:

"They used one-time federal stimulus money and a one-time gimmick shift as ongoing funding. That's not our fault, that's not the governor's fault, that was decisions made by other Legislatures and other administrations. One-time money should not be used as ongoing funding. Even if you count that in as reality, we're spending about the same," Koch said.

When asked about a possible government shutdown, Koch said it would be up to Dayton, because the Legislature already passed a balanced budget that he vetoed. But Koch said a budget deal can be reached.

"There's absolutely time to finish this out," she said.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.