Veterans bill prompts clash; budget work remains

Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP negotiators for a state government spending bill are clashing over potential cuts to veterans programs with two weeks left in the regular session.

Sen. Mike Parry and Rep. Morrie Lanning met briefly with the Democratic governor Monday without resolving the issue.

Lanning says the meeting was “very disappointing” and leaves little room for negotiation.

The meeting came after Dayton and the commander of the Minnesota American Legion asked the lawmakers to adopt a provision sparing military and veterans’ programs from spending cuts. The programs are part of a state government bill pending before a conference committee led by Parry and Lanning.

Parry wrote Dayton questioning his leadership and accusing him of misleading veterans.

Gubernatorial spokesman Bob Hume says Dayton is seeking common ground with lawmakers.