With Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP leaders at the Capitol deadlocked over prospects for a special legislative session, the DFL governor is traveling the state touting unfinished projects likely to receive state funding if he and lawmakers can agree how to finish the job.
Dayton on Wednesday spoke at Rochester Community and Technical College and South Central College in North Mankato.
Dayton is scheduled to visit Moorhead and Worthington on Thursday.
"It is time now for the Legislature to comeback to St. Paul and finish their work," Dayton said. "Minnesotans deserve better college classrooms, clean water infrastructure, tax cuts for 650,000 people, and thousands of jobs from comprehensive bonding and transportation bills."
Earlier this week, Dayton withheld his signature from a tax bill that included about $800 million in targeted cuts to some taxpayers over the next three years. He said he took down the bill because of a drafting error his administration estimates would have cost the state $101 million in tax revenue, but he refused to call a special session to fix it unless Republicans agree to his additional spending and borrowing demands.
Between the tax bill veto, and the collapse of a $1 billion public works and transportation bill on the final night of session, Dayton and lawmakers are left with a greatly diminished list of accomplishments from the past two legislative session.
Republican legislative leaders say Dayton's additional demands are too expensive. In a memo Wednesday, the director of public affairs for House Republicans noted that more than half of the spending in the failed public works bill had been requested by Dayton.
Still, special session talks seems to have lost urgency as both sides retreat to talking points and political positioning in anticipation of November's legislative elections. Dayton and legislative leaders met briefly on Tuesday following his tax bill veto, but won't meet again until next Wednesday.