ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Efforts to end the budget stalemate at the State Capitol have ground to a halt.
In fact, Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and the Republicans who control the legislature aren’t even negotiating anymore. They have just 11 days to work out a deal before the session ends.
Part of it is family emergency — a Republican senator is absent, and the GOP doesn’t have enough votes to pass any bills — but part of it is politics.
Republican leaders are sending the Governor budget bills that he hates and is threatening to veto– every single one of them. Dayton says they contain policies that he calls “right wing extreme,” but the new Republican senate leader is telling everyone to relax.
“They’re sending me bills to say ‘See? We’re completing our work on time, so it’s all the Governor’s fault,'” Dayton said. “The blame game doesn’t go over well with the people of Minnesota. They want their work done.”
“Anybody who’s been to my office, you’ll see I’ve got these five letters in back of my office. It says ‘RELAX,'” Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said. “And this is the time to relax. Cool heads will prevail. So we’ve got to keep our eyes on the ball, all of us, and I think we can do that.”
Dayton repeated his threat to veto every budget bill Republicans lob over to him that he has not agreed to, and threw in a couple other bills as well.
With the fishing opener and Mother’s Day this weekend, legislators don’t expect much to get done before next week.
Despite their strong differences, the Senate Marjority Leader, Speaker of the House and governor will fish together in the same boat for the opener Saturday.