Shutdown Roundup: updates on the compromise
- Created on Monday, 18 July 2011 17:12
Last Thursday, Gov. Dayton made a surprising offer to the Republican leadership in the state legislature in an attempt to bring the painful shutdown to a close. With no compromise in sight, he said he would reluctantly agree to the Republicans’ last pre-shutdown offer, with several conditions, because “continuing the state government shutdown would be even more destructive for too many Minnesotans” (Governor’s July 14th letter). Under the deal, spending would be greater than what Republicans had wanted, but Dayton would also give up the tax increases he had sought. The Star Tribune breaks down the budget deal here: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/125724753.html
When House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch agreed to the deal last Thursday, it appeared the shutdown could be over soon. State leaders planned to put the budget together over the weekend, and Dayton hoped to call a session early this week. As of Monday, though, a swift resolution and end to the shutdown appear less certain. The Governor and Republican leaders issued a joint statement Sunday that gave no concrete time frame for finalizing the budget: http://mn.gov/governor/newsroom/pressreleasedetail.jsp?id=102-14141
Additionally, it’s not yet clear if the budget deal will have the votes to pass through the legislature. Because the compromise has essentially no Democratic support in the legislature, almost all Republican legislators would have to vote for the deal, but not all of them are happy with it. Read more at the Star Tribune: http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/125722713.html
Here are some more links about what is hopefully the end phase of the shutdown:
From MPR, about the Health and Human Services Bill and the latest from the Capitol: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2011/07/work_done_on_hh.shtml http://minnesota.publicradio.org/collections/special/columns/polinaut/archive/2011/07/shutdown_day_18.shtml
From MinnPost, on the two sides’ lingering difficulties in coming to agreement: http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2011/07/18/30096/bogged_down_in_budget_details_two_sides_repeat_a_familiar_refrain_were_close
From the Minnesota Budget Project, on the consequences of the budget deal: http://minnesotabudgetbites.org/2011/07/15/budget-solution-means-our-revenues-still-dont-match-up-with-our-priorities/
Hopefully, a special session will be called soon and a budget passed so the thousands of laid-off state employees can get back to work. It’s concerning and disappointing that the budget deal relies on more borrowing instead of fairly raised revenue and does not solve Minnesota’s budget problems in the long run. However, this may be the best we can get for now to end the damaging shutdown. Though few details have emerged from budget talks, we hope programs that serve our most vulnerable citizens will be protected.
Now is the time to contact your legislators and urge them to compromise, and to protect programs that protect people living in poverty. Click here to find out who your legislators are, and to gain access to their contact information.
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