Dayton, lawmakers begin series of budget meetings

Lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton began a series of “lock-in” budget negotiation meetings Friday morning that are expected to last over the weekend and could help avert a disastrous government shutdown come July 1.

The GOP leadership and Dayton agreed to the meetings earlier this week as a last-minute attempt to dodge the shutdown and solve Minnesota’s $5 billion budget deficit.

Thursday’s Ramsey Court shutdown hearing and Ramsey District Court Chief Judge Kathleen Gearin’s warnings about the potential shutdown’s calamitous effects serve as a stark reminder for lawmakers of the importance of reaching a deal before June 30.

Dayton and lawmakers established ground rules Friday morning – they won’t discuss the specifics of their negotiations until they’ve come to a deal.

“We’ll get more done, more effectively if we just say, ‘OK, we’re not going to comment on the particulars till we have a result,’” Dayton said.

They started initial discussions and began reviewing budget spreadsheets Friday morning, but there’s no specific plan how the meetings will progress into Saturday.

Showing, perhaps, a glimmer of progress, Dayton and the GOP leaders appeared together to address the press for the first time in weeks. That marks a significant change from the dueling soundbites that typically dominate these talks.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Rod Loper on 06/24/2011 - 01:35 pm.

    I truly think they are waiting for Dayton to blink
    because Democrats care more about government than
    republicans do. Lets hope that the governor loves government enough to keep the faith and Baak and Thissen support him.

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