"Plus, it felt great to be done," he said.
Dayton said the budget concessions he extracted from Republicans protect new enrollees in the state's Medical Assistance program, provide an additional $50 per pupil in school aid, reduce funding cuts for state colleges and universities and prevent Metro Transit bus fare increases and service cuts. He estimated the $498 million public works program he demanded as part of the deal will create 14,000 private-sector construction jobs.
House DFL Minority Leader Paul Thissen accused Republicans of forcing Dayton to accept borrowing that makes the package the "most irresponsible budget in state history.
"The fact is that this is a beg-borrow-and-steal budget," Thissen said. "It borrows and steals from Minnesota's future and begs the people of our state to look the other way as once again you simply kick the can down the road."
The House and Senate convened at 3:05 p.m. Tuesday. After 13-plus hours of mostly brief floor debates and lengthy recesses, the House adjourned at 3:38 a.m. Wednesday, and the Senate shut down a minute later.
Here's a look at some of the big spending bills they passed in the wee hours.
The Legislature approved spending $14.5 billion on education, shifting $700 million to the next biennium.
Lawmakers agreed to change the way Minnesota delivers education.
Local school districts and the state now are required to develop teacher evaluation plans where instructors are assessed every three years. Those plans would use a variety of tools like observations and a portfolio to judge a teacher's performance. But 35 percent of the evaluation must be based on annual student progress on state or local tests.
Principals also need to be evaluated annually based on observations, surveys and student performance.
The bill includes financial incentives for schools that have students reading proficiently by the end of third grade and up to $7,500 in college scholarships for students who graduate from high school early.
Republicans did not get their way, though, on several other policy changes, from school vouchers to a grading system for schools and doing away with teacher tenure.
They also tried unsuccessfully to axe integration funding, which is used for voluntary desegregation efforts. Lawmakers instead charged a task force to come up with better ways to spend the money to boost student achievement. Integration aid will then end in 2013.
Special education funding will go up by about 9 percent over the next two years.
Charter schools, which will be hit hardest by the state aid shift being used to balance the budget, will get some relief from the holdback. The education bill included $25 per pupil for charters to help offset their borrowing costs. They also will have access to a $10 million state fund that allows school districts in statutory operating debt to borrow money at low rates.
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
After being farther apart on that bill than any other budget area, Dayton and the Republicans reached a compromise that spends $11.3 billion, about 8 percent less than the forecast amount.
The bill includes reforms to slow spending growth, according to Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, who chairs the health and human services committee. Growth will be below 5 percent, Hann said.
Republican leaders said the bill does not change eligibility for Minnesotans receiving state health insurance. It also drops an attempt to repeal the expansion of Medicaid endorsed by Dayton.
The measure does not contain earlier language that would have banned human cloning and prohibited state money for abortions.
It does set up a voucher program to help some 8,000 adults without children who are currently on MinnesotaCare to buy private insurance.
Among some of the changes, HMOs will receive less state money for providing coverage to people in the Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare programs, said Eileen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Council of Health Plans. Doctors and hospitals fear some of those cuts simply will be passed along to them.