The Legislature will move ahead with passing renewed budget bills, Republican leaders announced Friday, hoping to wade through the arduous task of assembling conference committees, approving reports, negotiating with the administration and passing finalized legislation before the constitutionally mandated deadline of midnight on Monday.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) released new spending targets they called “real compromise” positions with Gov. Mark Dayton — numbers the governor hasn’t publicly agreed to — that spend less on tax incentives and more on areas like health care and state government.
“We’re asking the governor to finish up with us on time,” Gazelka said at a Friday afternoon news conference.
The new Republican budget targets, compared to their previous positions, include increasing:
“We have moved our positions pretty significantly,” Daudt said.
Dayton’s latest public proposal, the so-called “Meet Half Way,” separated courts and cybersecurity spending from the state’s projected $1.5 billion surplus, leaving $1.36 billion to be split halfway between taxes and transportation, and the remaining budget bills. The governor and legislators broke from the negotiating table earlier Friday when Dayton had to leave for a funeral, his staff said.
The Legislature passed all of its budget bills before, but had the governor veto every one. The difference this time, Daudt said, is that they’ve heeded some of Dayton’s concerns and have made additional concessions.
“This represents what we think is real, true compromise,” Daudt said. “I think the governor will see that, he’ll understand that, he’ll appreciate that. We still very sincerely want him engaged over the next three days to help us with an agreement that will earn his signature.”
The Minnesota Supreme Court has ordered the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton to use mediation to resolve a funding dispute. In an opinion issued Friday, the court also ruled that Dayton’s use of the line-item veto to strip biennial funding for the Legislature was constitutional.
A Ramsey County judge on Wednesday ruled that Gov. Mark Dayton’s line-item veto of legislative funding violated the state’s constitution.
House and Senate leadership OK a resolution to seek outside legal representation in an effort to restore funding for the Legislature that Gov. Mark Dayton line-item vetoed earlier this week.
Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.
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