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Your Letters: Dayton at fault for shutdown

Minnesotans deserve better than what our governor has done to them by unnecessarily shutting down our state.

There is absolutely no reason for the governor's shutdown to be taking place and it disappoints me deeply that we have reached this point. We were extremely close to getting a budget finished before the deadline of midnight, Thursday, but in the end the governor chose to shut down our state because he wants to raise taxes.

We in the Legislature increased our spending proposal by $2 billion from the start of the session. Then we offered to match the governor dollar for dollar on K-12 education funding. We also offered to concede the tax reductions we originally proposed.

We even offered to pass a temporary bill that would have allowed our state to continue functioning for another 10 days until a total package could be signed into law. Legislators sat on the House floor right up to the deadline Thursday night, waiting for the governor to call a special session so we could take action and spare Minnesotans the pain of a shutdown. But the governor denied that proposal, just as he has turned his back on all the other compromises we have sent his way.

The Legislature sent the governor the largest budget in state history: $34 billion. It provided a 6 percent increase in General Fund spending while staying at the threshold of our projected revenue. But the governor refused to compromise and his feet remain cemented in his quest for tax increases. The thing is, he has not even detailed where the additional $1.8 billion in taxes he proposed would be spent. It's like the Tax Increase to Nowhere.

Our focus now must turn to stopping the governor's shutdown as soon as possible. This is going to require the governor to put Minnesotans ahead of gamesmanship and show a style of leadership he has not displayed to this point.

Rep. Mark Murdock