ST. PAUL — Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, is urging Gov. Mark Dayton to work with legislative leaders to reach joint agreement on budget targets for the 2018-19 budget by this Thursday.
Urdahl noted that legislative leaders agreed to and met Dayton’s requests to pass budget bills by March 31 and establish legislative targets by April 28. Urdahl indicates agreement by Thursday will help to ensure a smooth and orderly end to the legislative session.
“The Legislature is three weeks ahead of schedule in bringing budget bills to this point,” Urdahl said. “While that is good news, we need the governor and his agency leaders to finally become engaged in the process before we can get a new budget across the finish line. I am confident things can still come together and we can pass important bills such as tax relief and funding for our roads and bridges, but this extra time we gained in the session is only helpful if the governor joins us. I am ready to meet with him or his staff at any time regarding bonding.”
On Friday, House and Senate leaders unveiled agreements on budget targets for the 2018-19 budget, meeting an April 28 deadline outlined by Dayton early last month. The targets include $1.15 billion in tax relief, $372 million in new, ongoing funding for road and bridge infrastructure, and more than $1.1 billion in increased funding for K-12 schools compared with the previous two-year budget.
Conference committees have met for the last two weeks and are meeting early this week to hold public hearings on the agreed-upon House and Senate budget. Language and spreadsheets for each of the Legislative budget bills can be found publicly here.
Dayton’s commissioners have refused to engage and negotiate on his behalf, despite repeated requests by the Legislature. At a Friday press conference, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, requested that Dayton work with the House and Senate to meet a deadline of Thursday to establish global budget targets.