With days to go, Minnesota budget talks hit a stalemate
- Author: Phil Peters May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 0:48
There are still big differences between DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders heading into the final weekend, and they may have reached the point where they can't finish on time. Daudt says Dayton's stance on spending is "out of touch with where Minnesotans are at on these issues and we're gonna keep fighting for tax relief and for money for roads and bridges". Talks between the governor and Republicans quickly went sour, creating an impasse between the two parties that's shown only little movement since then. The new law would require the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to begin issuing licenses by October 1, 2018.
State government will shut down unless lawmakers pass a new budget by July.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, said Thursday night that he wanted to give Dayton a new budget offer in an attempt to move talks ahead.
Governor Dayton's office told WDAZ the proposal for tab fee increases first came from Speaker Kurt Daudt past year. By counting the courts and cyber security funding priorities separately, Dayton wasn't actually meeting Republicans halfway, he said. "We need to make some big progress today or it's going to become hard to get things done", Daudt said. His proposal included postponing the repayment of $1.8 billion that Minnesota owes local school districts, covering the rest with $1.7 billion in spending cuts and $1.7 billion in additional tax revenues.
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At stake is funding for almost all state government programs. If they don't get it done by midnight Sunday, there will have to be a special session.
Dayton praised the Legislature for finally passing what he called critical legislation. House Speaker Kurt Daudt said they were reviewing the situation and could meet with the governor again later on Friday.
"What Minnesotans need to know is that once the governor signs the bill that they are going to be able to fly come January of 2018 without hindrance", Smith said.