While the Capitol waits for DFL Gov. Mark Dayton to give his last State of the State address before facing voters in the fall, here's a look back on his constitutionally mandated previous three addresses.
During the 2013 speech, Dayton gave an impassioned defense of his own budget positions and blasted his critics. While he scaled back his initial tax proposal in the face of bipartisan opposition, the 2013 Legislature did raise taxes on high earners (and put in place several smaller tax increases that were repealed this year.) Dayton also used the venue to stump for legalizing same-sex marriage, which lawmakers did a few months later.
During the 2012 speech, he called again for cooperation, a vote on a Minnesota Vikings football stadium and lawmakers to approve a multiyear renovation of the state Capitol. He may not have gotten much cooperation – lawmakers moved two constitutional amendments to the ballot – but the stadium is now under construction, as is the state Capitol.
In his 2011 speech, his first as governor, he faced a Republican controlled Legislature and spoke of the "promise of bipartisan accord." The Democratic governor said, “it is absolutely unthinkable that we would even contemplate doing so here in Minnesota. So, I ask you, legislators; I invite you; I implore you --to join with me now, right here in our Capitol and pledge to the people of Minnesota that we will NOT shut down their government, our government --not next July 1st, not any July 1st, not any day ever.” A few months later, on July 1st, 2011, Minnesota experienced the longest state government shut down in its history.