SAINT PAUL, Minn., July 14 (UPI) -- Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders reached agreement Thursday to end the two-week long government shutdown.
Dayton, a Democrat, had said in a letter he would reluctantly accept the GOP budget submitted June 30 if it will end the state government shutdown that began July 1.
The agreement -- announced late Thursday afternoon following a meeting in Dayton's office -- needs legislative approval, WCCO-TV, Minneapolis, reported.
Dayton said he agreed to accept the GOP budget plan if it is stripped of social policy provisions and language restricting collective bargaining rights, and if the Republicans pass a bill providing $500 million for construction projects, the TV station said. He also called on the GOP to drop a proposal to reduce the state workforce by 15 percent.
"We must concentrate our efforts on reaching the budget agreements that will return Minnesota to work, not on continuing disagreements over issues on which we do not agree," Dayton stated in the letter.
Dayton said he would call a special legislative session to end the government shutdown within three days, KMSP-TV, Minneapolis, reported.
Both sides agreed on a proposal to raise $1.4 billion in new revenue, half by delaying state aid checks to schools districts and the other half by selling tobacco payment bonds, WCCO-TV reported.
"I'm glad that Gov. Dayton dropped his need for tax increases but I am not a fan of shifting more money from schools," KMSP- reported Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, said. "This feels like more of a short-term fix than the long-term structural reform we need. With that being said, I hope this deal brings an end to the shutdown."
"Ignorance and arrogance are a very dangerous combination," Dayton said. "Makes a democracy difficult to function."
Dayton described the current Minnesota political climate as a "civil war."