Budget talks are not progressing as ballot questions move along in the Minnesota Legislature. The State Government Conference Committee Chair Morrie Lanning said “The way things are going right now, I’ve lost my optimism we’ll be done on time.” Chair Mike Parry said to Gov. Mark Dayton “Quit using veterans as political pawns.” Lawmakers and the governor are locked in a dispute over what a 15% cut to state agencies really means.
The DFL governor’s office says “Republicans don’t like what an all-cuts budget really looks like” as they contend a State Veterans Home would close under the legislative plan. The GOP says vets are held harmless in their budget. Dayton again made it clear “I don’t favor an all-cuts budget.”
What we do know is that significant time has been spent moving constitutional amendments along. A ban on gay marriage is ready to hit the Senate floor and half a dozen other ballot questions are under consideration. Friday on Almanac, we answer the question: How many is too many constitutional amendments? Our historical research shows when voters are presented with five or more questions they reject almost of them.
Rep. Denny McNamara (R-Hastings) told us “I personally want to concentrate on the $5 billion budget problem, if I had my way we wouldn’t be doing any constitutional amendments right now.” Freshman Sen. Benjamin Kruse (R-Brooklyn Park) disagreed “I don’t know if there’s ever too many.” Much more from many other lawmakers with a variety of opinions Friday on Almanac as we explore the history of constitutional amendments and appetite this session.