Dayton surprises with feisty post-surgery appearance, criticism

Dayton surprises with feisty post-surgery appearance, criticism

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Photo by Tim Blotz Photo by Tim Blotz
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

After laying low for the past 5 weeks, Gov. Mark Dayton made a surprise appearance at the Minnesota Capitol on Tuesday to tell lawmakers that he is not at all pleased with the delay of the tax bill's passage.

Dayton hasn't been seen at all so far this legislative session following hip surgery to repair a torn muscle and tendon after he injured the joint while walking down the stairs at the governor's residence last summer. Instead, he's been communicating with lawmakers via conference calls from a partial body cast that was removed on Monday.

On Tuesday, Dayton walked into a press conference on crutches and said he has no pain -- but isn't ready to kick field goals yet.

Once back at before the press, Dayton didn't waste time and immediately began to criticize members of his own party for holding up a vote on the tax bill that cleared the Minnesota House two weeks ago.

"This is inexcusable, and it's unacceptable," Dayton said bluntly. "One point one million Minnesotans will be filing their tax returns after April 1, and this deadline is essential for the Department of Revenue to work with its software vendors so people can actually file after then on the corrected return."

Dayton blamed the delay on infighting between the House and Senate over the proposed Senate office building, and the Senate Tax Committee will hold a hearing on the issue on Wednesday.

Yet, Dayton wanted the entire package to be passed by Wednesday so he could sign it and provide tax breaks to those who still have yet to file. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk told Fox 9 News it's likely the Senate will vote on the tax package on Thursday.

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