Governor’s veto puts stamp on a failure to communicate

What we have at the end of the 2018 legislative session is a major failure to communicate. Instead of keeping our income taxes from becoming a tangled mess and solving numerous state problems, Governor Mark Dayton hastily vetoed the two major bills.
An omnibus spending and a major tax bill were passed by the Republican controlled House and Senate. The DFL governor didn’t like what he read and killed both bills. Dayton also ruled out a special session, leaving taxpayers across the state of Minnesota hanging.
In Ely that meant a major hit to the 250-mile Prospector Loop ATV trail project. Provisions in the omnibus bill would have extended a use-it-or-lose-it funding deadline for another year and transferred $400,000 of dedicated funds into the project.
Dayton blamed the Republicans for sending him a 990-page bill which put all the eggs in one basket. This is hardly the first time one political party has handed the other a hefty bill in hopes it will be passed, no matter how much the governor has to hold his nose to sign it.
But all of that political wrangling and finger pointing doesn’t help Minnesotans who will be left with trying to pick up the pieces. Volunteers from Ely traveled to St. Paul to testify for the ATV project and were successful at the committee level and in the final bill. The governor didn’t agree and all that work was for naught.
So what happened? Could it be as simple as a failure to communicate? We’re left with the impression from both sides that despite cell phones, text messages, emails and even smoke signals, the leaders of our state couldn’t find a way to carve out a deal.
Maybe the Republican strategy of putting multiple committee bills into an “omnibusprime” was not the way to go. But the way Dayton was vetoing bills there was no guarantee he would sign them individually.
Even $9 million to help out deputy registrars, including businesses like the Ely License Bureau was axed by Dayton. His administration royally screwed up our vehicle licensing system and yet instead of taking ownership and righting the wrongs, Dayton just gave up and vetoed a bill passed by members of both parties.
If you’re looking for good news, here’s some: Dayton won’t be on the ballot this fall. He didn’t do Ely a lot of favors, particularly over the Twin Metals issue and pulling the rug out from being able to explore for minerals. He failed to hear the concerns of deer hunters and did nothing to advance legislation to return control of the wolf to the state.
A state legislator was asked to describe the governor in one word. “Erratic,” he said. Following his decision to veto the omnibus and tax bills, there may be some harsher words to come out in the near future.