Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, who must sign off before a budget is approved, does not appear optimistic that he and the GOP can wrap up a $46 billion, two-year budget by a midnight Monday, May 22, deadline. He said on public television’s “Almanac” Friday night, May 19, the potential for avoiding a special session is on “knife’s edge.”
Republican leaders said they can get their work done on time, but they offered no promises that they will give Dayton bills he will sign.
Republicans unveiled their plan to send new budget bills to Dayton Friday afternoon as the governor attended a family member’s funeral. He said that even after meeting legislative leaders earlier in the day, he did not expect the new GOP plan. He said he planned to get together with legislative leaders after their television appearances.
“I am disappointed,” Dayton said of the surprise Republican action.
It appears there will be no more budget negotiations until Saturday morning, May 20.
The Republican plan is to launch new House-Senate conference committees on the 10 budget areas Saturday morning to prepare bills that can pass before the deadline.
While the bills will get full House and Senate votes even without Dayton’s approval, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said he hopes the Dayton administration will remain involved in budget talks so compromises can be reached.
“The exact same thing happened two years ago,” Daudt said.
But two years ago, three major budget bills were not settled during the regular session and a special session was needed to complete the budget. Many in the Capitol predict a repeat this year.
Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka,…
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