Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a slate of GOP budget bills Friday, including the E-12 bill. In his letter on the E-12 veto, he argues that the GOP proposal for 1.5&1.5 is insufficient for our schools and likely will lead schools to make cuts and layoffs with this level of funding.

His letter also cites the lack of progress on special education funding as one of his reasons for vetoing the bill. The repeal of his signature on the Voluntary Pre-K program (VPK) program is another primary reason for the veto. Read his veto message.

Once again all of the state budget business has piled up to the last week of session. With a surplus of $1.5 billion, $930 million of which is ongoing for the next biennium, there’s enough funding to satisfy both sides of the aisle and their respective appetites for tax cuts and new spending.

However, both sides need to realize their appetites are too big at this point. The Governor simply isn’t going to sign a $1 billion tax cut that the GOP is craving. It’s a budget buster. Likewise, the GOP simply isn’t going to spend $700 million on E-12 programs.

How this shakes out in terms of global budget negotiations is hard to see. The Governor has publicly committed to vetoing the local government wage and sick leave preemption bill that’s a major policy initiative of the business community. Some thought this bill could be part of a trade for spending on VPK (or some other DFL initiative like a major bonding bill).