In the big picture of the state budget debate and pending shutdown, some news this morning about the Stillwater Lift Bridge might be illuminating — or just another minor kerfuffle.
In Gov. Mark Dayton’s initial shutdown proposal, the bridge was scheduled to be raised and kept in the upright and locked position because state employees who operate it are scheduled to be laid off. That would mean a major detour for motorists trying to cross the river but would allow big boats to pass under unimpeded.
This morning, GOP legislative leaders scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference at the bridge, in downtown Stillwater, to urge the governor to continue providing critical services — like the bridge operation — in the event of a shutdown at the end of the week.
But then Michael Brodkorb, deputy GOP state chair and communications director for the state Senate Repubican Caucus, emailed this:
Earlier this morning, Republican leaders and area legislators announced a press conference to urge Gov. Dayton to continue the delivery of critical services such as the Stillwater Lift Bridge in the event of a government shutdown.
Following the Republican leaders’ announcement, reports emerged that Gov. Dayton may be working to change his position and keep the bridge open during a shutdown.
This is to inform you that despite those reports, the 1:00 PM press conference will continue as previously announced.
There is now news that Dayton and Republican leaders are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m., so we’ll see.