Memo: 1,676 Times


To: Members of the Press
From: Linden Zakula, Deputy Chief of Staff
Subject: 1,676 Times
Date: May 2, 2017
As the 2017 Legislative Session enters its final 20 days, a number of Republican legislators have made misleading statements[1] to deflect from the fact that the Legislature has yet to do what the Governor did on January 24, 2017 – present a detailed budget for the State of Minnesota.
The Governor has clearly stated that as soon as the Republican House and the Republican Senate put forward a detailed budget, in the form of conference committee reports, final negotiations will begin to work out the two sides’ differences.
I want to offer you some facts that rebut the talking points Republicans are using that illuminate how much information and input our administration has offered to Legislative Committees and individual legislators as we work toward a compromise two-year budget.
  • 190 PAGES OF LETTERS – Two weeks ago the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Cabinet members hand-delivered detailed letters to Legislators outlining their input as the House and Senate worked to reconcile their budget differences.

  • 1,676 TIMES – The Governor’s Cabinet members have engaged with the Legislature 1,676 times since the session began, including 538 appearances before legislative committees and 1,138 meetings with Legislators. A comprehensive breakdown of those meetings is included below.

Cabinet Agency Testimony in Committee Meetings with Legislators
Administration 9 45
Commerce 63 157
Corrections 21 9
Education 35 31
Employment & Economic Development 10 37
Health 20 37
Higher Education 7 23
Housing Finance 9 50
Human Rights 3 30
Human Services 11 96
Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation 4 120
IT Services 40 42
Labor and Industry 19 33
Management and Budget 45 27
Metropolitan Council 18 25
Military Affairs 9 81
Natural Resources 93 92
Pollution Control 37 47
Public Safety 28 37
Revenue 27 70
Transportation 10 35
Veterans Affairs 20 14
TOTAL 538 1,138
In addition to this Cabinet-level engagement, the Governor and Lt. Governor’s policy advisors are in constant communication with legislators from both parties, and committee chairs – often multiple times a day. This constant engagement, and open lines of communication, are essential in achieving compromise and a balanced budget this session.
In nearly 1,700 meetings and numerous public letters, and the Governor’s personal meetings with Legislators and Legislative Leaders, the Dayton-Smith Administration has made its positions very clear on the budgets and policy initiatives being considered this session. We believe this constant engagement will provide the discussion and input necessary to craft a two-year budget in the best interests of all Minnesotans.
Please contact us with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you.

[1] Minnesota House Republicans (Peppin, Bennett, Kiel, O’Driscoll, Fabian, Cornish, Nornes), Legislative Updates, Friday, April 28, 2017