Dayton, GOP Lawmakers Take Another Crack At Budget

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Gov. Mark Dayton said the meeting he had with Republican legislative leaders was constructive and “one of the best” they’ve had.

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers presented Dayton Friday with a schedule to negotiate the budget. Then at the end of June a special session would take place.

“I thought his morning’s conversation was very productive,” Koch said. “We’ve got … a framework, a road map, a schedule of meetings and discussions. And we’ve had some agreements inside of what those meetings would consist of.”

The meetings are scheduled to start on June 6 and go each weekday until a special session is called on June 22.

“It allows time to negotiate and discuss,” Koch said. “And it will avoid any kind of government shutdown. Any time we’re talking about that and having an agreement on that, that’s a good thing.”

Dayton thinks the meetings are good, but he is asking Koch and Zellers to give him what they believe is their budget midpoint by Monday.

“What do they believe their midpoint is between their position and mine?” Dayton asked. “What are they willing to do on the revenue side to arrive at that midpoint?”
Legislative leaders described Friday’s meeting as “honest”. Thursday a meeting was scheduled with a Republican-led panel and Dayton’s budget and revenue commissioners. Dayton told his commissioners not to attend, because he never agreed to it.

“We have at least a good working relationship,” Koch said. “That doesn’t mean it gets a little bumpy.”

The one thing both sides agreed on is avoiding a government shutdown.

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