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Does GOP’s latest statement offer glimmer of hope for budget settlement?

Maybe, just maybe, there was a slight shift in Republican thinking shown today. Maybe, just maybe, there’s a glimmer of hope that a budget settlement can be reached before the July 1 shutdown.

Here’s the deal: House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Assistant Majority Leader Geoff Michel met very briefly with the reporters to ostensibly talk about Gov. Mark Dayton’s far-reaching shutdown plan that was released this morning.

But the two didn’t really talk about that plan.

Instead, Zellers said “we’re focused on the budget.” He said that the priority for the moment is getting a deal done before a July 1 shutdown.

Michel said that at this point, Republicans don’t “have a plan” at the moment for how they will respond to the governor’s proposal. That response, he indicated, will be more thoroughly discussed at a Thursday meeting of the Senate Rules Committee.

But here’s where the glimmer of hope may be.

A reporter asked Zellers if Republicans were absolutely steadfast on holding to a $34 billion budget, meaning no new revenues. That has been the Republican position to date.

But this morning, Zellers sounded a little cagey in responding to the $34 billion number.

“We’re not going to vote for a tax increase,” he said.

Does that mean the Republicans could change their $34 billion bottom line?

“No tax increase,” Zellers repeated.

That stand, of course, appears to open the door to other revenue possibilities, ranging from new fees to proceeds from such things as racinos.

Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 06/15/2011 - 12:48 pm.

    Sen. Michel who prefers to talk about “frames” than substance has always been seen as one who might one day see reason. But this Republican rhetoric seems to based on a notion that there is a billion dollars of non tax revenue out there some place. I really don’t know where that is, although the Republican position may reflect a willingness to ease up on what they define as a “tax”. The Republican position has always been far more firmly based on semantics and quibbles than anything anyone would recognize as sound public policy.

  2. Submitted by will lynott on 06/15/2011 - 12:54 pm.

    Don’t do it, Gov. Even the sainted rich have to pitch in with the rest of us.

  3. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/15/2011 - 03:28 pm.

    Mr. Grow get my vote for the greatest straw grabber of the week. There’s no glimmer here, read their lips: “no new revenue”.

  4. Submitted by Diane Clare on 06/15/2011 - 04:33 pm.

    The Legislature is right, no reason to raise taxes just for the sake of it. 12% increase in spending is even more than they should have went with the economic picture we are living in.
    The Governor has the biggest $ budget ever nad he is unhappy because ,NO NEW TAXES”
    I say the governor needs to spend a lot more time on mainstreet.

  5. Submitted by Eric Larson on 06/15/2011 - 07:09 pm.

    Zellers and Koch should go into court and ask permission to re-convene legislature with out call by the Gov. Pass the same 6% increase budget bill and wait for his veto. Then go home. Gov Dayton shut down the govt for political gain. DFL Gov can’t live by the constitution, why should anyone play fair then?

  6. Submitted by Nate Pete on 06/16/2011 - 09:42 am.

    They said “no tax increase” not “no new revenue”. If you think there will be a deal with no new revenue, good luck with that. It will be along the lines of that 75 cent a pack “fee” on cigs. I like how they pick and choose what they call a tax.

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