I have spent much of today meeting at the Capitol, hoping the governor would call a special session where we could avoid a government shutdown, or mitigate the impact of one.
We expect to be at the Capitol well into the night and, right now, we need the governor to call a special session so we can head to the House floor and do one of three things:
Pass a full budget.
Pass a bill which provides temporary funding to keep our state operating.
Pass the portions of the budget where we have agreement and provide temporary funding for the rest.
If the governor does not call a special session so we can take one of these approaches, state functions deemed non-essential would halt Friday, the start of the new fiscal year. That is the last thing I want to see happen because there are no winners in that scenario. Legislators continue having extensive meetings with the governor and I hope we find a breakthrough asap.
It is disappointing that we have reached this point because a shutdown does not need to happen. We presented the governor with the largest budget in state history, one that would erase our $5 billion shortfall while still fitting within the $34 billion in revenue the state expects to receive in the upcoming biennium. This allows us to fund our priorities without raising taxes as we work to recover from the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
The governor has a different approach. He wants to spend nearly $2 billion more than we anticipate to have available in revenue, raising taxes to help pay for the added government growth.
I would like to thank local citizens for continuing to provide me with input throughout this process. In addition to contacting me, I invite you to reach out to the governor and share your budget opinions with him. You can call him at (651) 201-3400 or email him at http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/form.
I will let you know what develops in St. Paul.