Minnesota Budget Talks Hit A Snag

"Fortunately, the governor has continually recognized the value that solar offers to the state", Gallagher said.

Dayton said that so far the two sides are still focused only on budget numbers.

Minnesota's Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton have resumed negotiations aimed at settling the state budget. 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". Republicans would get roughly $700 million to spend on their top goals - new transportation funding and tax cuts - while the governor would get the rest to spend on things like state programs, health and human services and new education funding.

Dayton and many lawmakers said they were concerned that the Legislature can not finish by its constitutionally mandated midnight Monday deadline. "If you get into the policy matters, we are talking about hours and hours and hours of discussion and debate, ' Dayton said this week". Lawmakers are preparing a new round of spending bills to send to the governor if talks do not go well.

They traded offers earlier in the week but progress froze Thursday.

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The state budget should not be set in this manner.

The House's chief author, Rep. Dennis Smith (R-Maple Grove), says the deal will allow Minnesotans to board planes and get access to military bases. "If we're going to consider a halfway budget we've got to consider all the spending", Knoblach said.

That offer went nowhere with Republicans because it included tax increases on the state's wealthiest residents, and the rest is history: The gridlock stretched past the deadline to adjourn and into a 20-day government shutdown, the longest in state history. The Legislature would have until June 30 to finish a budget in a special session.

Republicans said they would respond with a counteroffer, and talks were scheduled to continue into the evening.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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