Dayton vetos $900 million in budget cuts

The governor struck down a Republican bill that would have cut funding to the University of Minnesota and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

Graison Hensley Chapman

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a Republican budget bill that would cut $900 million from the stateâÄôs deficit a few hours after its passage Thursday, criticizing it as a âÄúpiecemeal approachâÄù to solving the stateâÄôs $6.2 billion budget shortfall. He also claimed it would raise property taxes. âÄúThere is nothing to be gained, and much to be lost, by addressing [the deficit] in this disjointed manner,âÄù he said in a statement. The bill would have left some of the decision-making on where to cut up to the governor. Dayton said this was unconstitutional because those reductions are the LegislatureâÄôs responsibility. Dayton is due to release his budget proposal Tuesday. Senate finance committee Vice Chair Sean Nienow called the governorâÄôs veto âÄúno surprise,âÄù and said it was motivated in part by political strategy. With a greater budget deficit, Dayton has stronger case for selling tax increases, Nienow, R-Cambridge, said. The Senate passed the bill, which would have cut funding to the University of Minnesota, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities and human services, in a party-line vote Thursday, sending the bill to the governor. The House passed the bill Wednesday, with three members of the Republican majority dissenting.