A year unlike nearly any other
ST. PAUL -- The past year was packed with disputes under the Minnesota Capitol dome, often involving Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and the Republican-controlled Legislature sparring over money issues. It was a year full of surprises.
Jan. 3: Dayton was inaugurated as one of the state's most liberal governors, then immediately puts a tax-the-rich strategy at the top of his priority list.
Jan. 4: The first Republican-controlled Legislature in decades convenes with lawmakers expressing optimism, but admitting they may need a special session to plug a budget deficit.
Late January: Lawmakers and the Dayton administration say they want to approve a new Vikings football stadium, but only after passing a state budget.
Jan. 31: Dayton suggests spending $1 billion for public works projects, with him picking half and the GOP-controlled Legislature deciding half.
Feb. 9: In Dayton's first State of the State speech, he says, "Compromise doesn't mean we have to agree, thank goodness, because we won't."
Feb. 10: Dayton vetoes Republican bill that would cut $900 million from state budget.
Feb. 16: Dayton unveils a $37 billion, two-year budget proposal.
Feb. 28: Minnesota leaders learn the budget deficit they face is $5 billion, not the $6.2 billion they expected.
March 3: Dayton signs bill he and Republican lawmakers like, to speed environmental business permits.
March 7: Dayton bucks Education Minnesota and signs Republican-pushed bill to give mid-career professionals an easier route to becoming teachers.
March 10: Legislative Republicans say they