Dayton meeting with legislative leaders, heading for China
February 8, 2011 — 4:23pm
Gov. Mark Dayton, fresh off a morning meeting with the Republican legislative leadership Tuesday, said he's meeting every other week with them, as the session ramps up. And the other weeks, he said he's meeting with the leaders of the DFL minority.
Speaking to reporters later Tuesday, Dayton didn't sound as if he's any closer to finding common ground with the Republicans over closing the state's $6.2 billion hole in its budget. He said the GOP's plan to carve out $900 million in budget cuts is "a piecmeal approach" and that the majorities in both the House and Senate have "jumped ahead" by proposing their cuts even before he's presented his budget for the nex two years.
Separately, Dayton said he will lead a trade delegation to China in August, but offered no specifics. He'll be following in the footsteps of his two most recent preecessors: Both Govs. Tim Pawlenty and Jesse Ventura led similar trips to China.
Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he'd be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.
Other business groups like realtors, electric utility Xcel Energy Services, private colleges, tobacco giant Altria, Polymet Mining, health insurers and hospitals contributed to the overall total of $57.7 million to lobby the Legislature, the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton and Metro municipal governments.