At 11:19 AM yesterday, WCCO ran this story. (link)
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton says he “can live with” a GOP move to modestly trim budgetsof a few state agencies in response to raises he granted department commissioners.
A vital spending bill in the House withholds $40,000 from three departments as offsets for raises. The Departments of Natural Resources, Health and Human Services have other funding at stake in the bill, which is why they were singled out.
Dayton said Thursday he wants to move on from the salary flap. That could be out of his hands because it remains a focus among Republican legislators. One House committee held a hearing on the sizable raises.
The Senate was due to vote Thursday on the stopgap spending measure and it’s possible a salary counterstrike will be tacked on to that bill.
Not even 3 hours later, WCCO posts this story. (link)
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – A Minnesota Senate vote to roll back pay raises for state commissioners exposed a deep rift Thursday between Gov. Mark Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, a fellow Democrat the governor says “connives behind my back.”
In an unusually public dress-down of a top legislator of his own party, Dayton said he felt blindsided by the vote and would no longer deal with the Senate leader one on one. Dayton said he would veto the bill rescinding the pay increases, legislation that also provides money for the state’s Ebola response and staffing at the sex offender security hospital in St Peter.
“I thought my relationship with Senator Bakk had always been positive and professional. I certainly learned a brutal lesson today that I can’t trust him in what he says to me. He connives behind my back,” Dayton said. The two spoke by phone Thursday in what Dayton described as a pointed conversation.
Bakk was not present at a meeting Dayton held with a half-dozen Democratic senators where he vented about their move.
Bakk, a 21-year lawmaker from Cook, responded in a text message to The Associated Press that he “will not comment on private conversations except to say if he feels that way he was not listening when we had a conversation about the potential options to be considered relative to floor action on the bill.”
The vote to suspend the salary increases was 63-2, with St. Paul’s Sandra Pappas and Minneapolis’ Patricia Torres Ray opposing it. The provision was attached to a $15 million stopgap spending bill plugging shortfalls at the natural resources and health and human services departments as well as the Minnesota Zoo.
In less than 3 hours, Dayton went ballistic on Bakk. At 11:19AM, he was OK with “Republican” cuts for departments in order to pay his advisors more. But when “Democrats” delayed the pay hikes, Dayton blows a gasket.
I’m not sure Governor Dayton is aware, but the Senate is up for election this cycle, and the DFL record for the last 2 years that Dayton is so proud of, is going to make the DFL holding the Senate majority a tall feat. This is very likely just the first time Senate Democrats push back against Dayton’s reckless agenda.