Dayton Criticizes City Council, GOP Lawmakers and Pawlenty

April 12, 2018 06:29 PM

In a wide-ranging news conference Thursday morning Governor Mark Dayton aimed political criticism at several targets.

Surprisingly, the first thing on his mind was a vote by the Forest Lake City Council to turn down an $18 million mental health facility proposal.


RELATED: Dayton Calls on Legislature to Keep Suicide Hotline From Closing

"It's just appalling that three people who are in positions of leadership in their city, they just heartlessly turn their backs on youth ages 7 to 17 who have need" for these mental health services, Dayton said.

RELATED: Forest Lake Appoints New Council Member to Replace Freer

He went on to call the vote "despicable" and "shameful."

The residential treatment facility had a lot of public support in Forest Lake.

However, the mayor and two city council members who voted against it say they were "too many unanswered questions" about the project. One council member also voiced concern about a loss of property tax revenue if the zoning law was changed for the facility.

On another political front, the governor criticized Republican lawmakers who have conducted multiple hearings criticizing the Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS).

RELATED: MNLARS Call Center Funding Criticized

In particular, he shot back at lawmakers who say his administration improperly took $1.3 million from a highway fund to hire workers for a MNLARS call center.

Dayton said Republicans just want to make his Democratic administration look bad rather than help find a solution.

"That's why they won't let us answer the phones," he told reporters. "The more and more people get hurt in a way without answers to their questions, and just think that we're totally indifferent to their situation, the worse it looks for us and the better it looks for them."

Dayton also defended his quote in a newspaper interview this week where he called former Governor Tim Pawlenty's record as governor "abysmal."

RELATED: Pawlenty Talks Budget, Education in Meeting with Media

The current governor says he was just responding to Pawlenty's criticism of Dayton's record as governor.

"I'll certainly defend myself and defend my record from distortions and dishonest portrayal of it," Dayton said. "The facts just speak for themselves."


Tom Hauser

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