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UPDATED: End in Sight For Minnesota Government Shutdown?

The Governor has agreed to June 30 terms set forth by the GOP negotiators, with some conditions.

Gov. Mark Dayton has “reluctantly" agreed to the last Republican budget offer made on June 30 with conditions—a move that could end the state shutdown if Republicans agree.

The governor sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers on Thursday that said that while he doesn't necessarily agree with the method of resolving the budget impasse, he does think it's necessary to end the shutdown as soon as possible.

"I am willing to agree to something I do not agree with—your proposal—to spare our citizens and our state from further damage," Dayton wrote.

“During the past two weeks, I have been listening carefully to people throughout Minnesota … they want this budget dispute resolved," Dayton said before alumni at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. "While they strongly prefer my proposed solution to that of the Republican legislature … they want this government shutdown to end. Now.”

To that end, Dayton agreed to the GOP offer of June 30. Details of that offer include:

  • Shift school aid payments from 70/30 to 60/40 ($700 million)
  • Issue tobacco bonds to cover remaining gap (to be determined)
  • Increase per student formula by $50 per year to cover additional borrowing costs ($128 million)
  • Add $10 million to University of Minnesota to equalize reductions with MnSCU ($60 million)
  • Restore funding to Department of Human Rights and Trade Office

But the GOP, Dayton said, would have to abide by three conditions: 1) Take all policy issues off the table for the time being; 2) drop a 15 percent, across-the-board reduction in the number of employees at all agencies, regardless of their funding source; 3) after all the budget issues have been resolved in a special session, the GOP must support and pass a bonding bill of at least $500 million next session.

If Republicans agree to Dayton's conditions, a special session to pass a budget—and end the state shutdown—could begin within three days.

GOP spokesman Michael Brodkorb said House Republicans were looking at the governor's offer late Thursday morning, but had no other comment.

James Warden, Mike Schoemer, Katelynn Metz and Kevira Voegele also contributed to this report.

Lynnae Haines July 14, 2011 at 04:42 PM
It's about time! It seems to me that the legislators in this state are much more polarized on the issues than the constituents. It's all about give and take and meeting in the middle. Too bad our legislators prioritized trying to take away the constitutional rights of the LGTB community instead of focusing on our budget BEFORE the shutdown...
Brie Shultz July 15, 2011 at 03:02 AM
I completely agree, Lynnae! A true conservative would want less government for everyone, meaning they wouldn't want the govt to tell us who could marry who. They seem to cherry pick a lot: "less govt for me, but more govt for everything I don't agree with".:-P Also, I wish they would have met Dayton in the middle though to generate more revenue for the state. I'm sure property taxes in Richfield will go up again this year since they were not able to work anything out. Although supposedly, we are "within budget", so I'm interested to see what happens.
Amy Paddock July 17, 2011 at 08:20 PM
Yes, holding the budget hostage for these social issues is really very irresponsible. I was going through some of their social "policies" and those official proposals of them. They define them differently on the book cover, but the story underneath tells a different story. "Higher Education" and banning "human cloning". There are already MN laws on specific "human cloning" No reproduction by cloning is allowed by law as a real person. But, the language in the bill of this policy would prevent certain research that has already helped two large/threaten skin problems. It is this research that help come up with treatment and "tissue" of that research. The MN GOP purposely tried to use terms and language that they did not have to, that will not allow this good research to continue in MN. Education: looked up their proposal and the financial information regarding that same proposal on this. The voucher system for private schools only allows the private school to choose what students can attend. The financial information regarding the rest of that K-12 shows that eventually, the public schools will receive less and less funding. Add that to the other policies that take away from our Public schools systems, and there are plenty - and not just in this education proposals, other policies show a few interesting ways of taking more away from the already reduced budgets. As I go thru their social "policies", I find more hidden, and it isn't anything what others believed them to be.

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