MN lawmakers approve 5 more budget bills – governor vetoes them almost immediately

What happens now? And why is this so complicated?

It took just under 30 minutes Monday evening for Gov. Mark Dayton to finish what he started last week.

Dayton vetoed five large finance bills – touching on transportation, public safety, jobs and energy, higher education, and taxes – that the Republican-controlled House and Senate had approved.

According to an office spokesperson, Dayton got the newly passed bills at 6:37 p.m., and signed the veto letters at 7:05 p.m.

Combined with the five large finance bills he vetoed last week, the Democratic governor has now shut down all 10 of the wide-ranging proposals that together make up Minnesota's budget.

This might come as a shock, but the local Republicans disagree with the vetoes. Rep. Kurt Daudt, the speaker of the House, said in a statement they sent a "balanced budget" to the governor. Daudt also said Dayton's suggestions for tax increases are "non-starters" since the state has a $1.6 billion surplus.

Dayton is following through on what he told the GOP-led House and Senate last week: to pass the finance bills asap, so he can veto them and they can get back to negotiating. That came after a breakdown in talks between the two sides.

What does this all mean?

By law, bills have to be passed before the end of May 22. Anything that doesn't get approved by state senators and representatives before that deadline is left hanging.

Included in that deadline are the above-mentioned 10 budget bills. If the state doesn't have budget bills passed and signed into law by the end of June, we could be dealing with our first government shutdown since 2011. (That's also the last time Dayton vetoed so many omnibus finance bills.)

So after the governor's veto-fest here, he and the GOP lawmakers have a week to get on the same page about what should and shouldn't be in the bills.

Both the House and Senate would have to vote again on whatever they come up with.

Why is this so complicated?

Republicans have a slim majority in the Senate. They have a larger one in the House.

So they can dictate which policies actually get to the governor for a signature, without much push back from DFLers in those chambers.

Dayton however can veto bills he doesn't like. For example, the governor says the big public safety bill doesn't provide the $200,000 needed to pay for some bomb squad services. That's one of the reasons he vetoed it.

The only way to override a veto is by getting two-thirds of the senators and two-thirds of the representatives to vote for an override.

Republicans on their own don't have that large of a majority. And it's unlikely Democrats would break from the governor and vote in favor of an override.

So everybody in this process has to bend if anything is going to become law. The GOP lawmakers will have to pass bills that include things Dayton likes. And Dayton will have to understand there will be some Republican proposals in there he may not agree with.

If we get past the May 22 deadline without real progress, the governor would have to call a special session in order to pass budget bills before the end of June. (A special sessions is when the lawmakers get together to approve bills outside of their normal, annual legislative period.)

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov / Minnesota Wild

Wild, Kaprizov agree to 5-year deal

The contract will keep the star forward in Minnesota through the 2025-26 season.

Dunn County WI homicide suspect

Charges: Man who killed 4 friends, drove bodies to WI said he 'snapped'

Charges filed Tuesday reveal more details about the grisly case.

Edison high school wikimedia commons

Mpls. school goes to distance learning after students exposed to COVID

In-person classes will resume next month, the district said.

Mike Zimmer

Does Mike Zimmer's coaching style mesh with the Vikings' strengths?

Time for Zimmer to put all of his faith in the offense and try to win shootouts?

gray wolf

6 Wisconsin tribes sue to end upcoming wolf hunt

They cite treaty rights and a "disastrous February hunt."

St Paul Grill steak facebook

St. Paul Grill, closed since March 2020, announces reopening date

The dining room will open to all visitors again next month.

police lights

Charges: Man fled police at 127 mph, caused crash that injured officer

The Sept. 16 incident led to a police chase going the wrong way on Hwy. 169 near St. Peter.

Bar beer

3 Minnesota teens 'pistol whipped' at bar in Sioux Falls

Police are investigating the incident, including why the teens were at the bar.

Ben Simmons

The latest Ben Simmons drama 1 week from the start of training camp

Training camp opens Sept. 28, at which point things could get really crazy.

court gavel

Judge finds man guilty in Hibbing Christmas Day murder

Jerome Spann fatally shot Jeryel McBeth on Christmas Day 2018.


The governor just noped 5 big budget bills

We explain what it means in the big picture, and why it matters.

What you should know about the 2 abortion bills approved by the MN House

What the bills do, arguments for and against them, and what needs to happen for them to become law.

The governor will let budget bills become law – but the drama isn't over

Dayton is accusing Republican lawmakers of sneaking in a 'poison pill' – and is taking action to force them back to the table.

Gov. Dayton and Republican leaders make no progress on their budget veto fight

They spent more than a day in mediation, but got nowhere on the veto battle.

Dayton says (again) he'll veto a bill that bans cities from setting a minimum wage

Yes, they've had this debate before. But now there's a "poison pill" element.

Legislature finally passes $46B budget – but is a Dayton veto imminent?

Health, transportation and public works bills were all agreed last night.

Dayton vetoes GOP-backed tax, spending bills

There's uncertainty over what happens next.