MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A week from Monday is the deadline for the Minnesota Legislature to complete all its business, including passing a two-year budget bill for the state.
But after Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed five Republican budget bills Friday, the two sides remain far apart. That means the possibility of a state government shutdown this summer remains a reality.
Despite the polarization at the state capitol, top Republican leaders and the governor were all smiles this weekend at the Governor’s Fishing Opener.
— Kurt Daudt (@kdaudt) May 13, 2017
House Speaker Kurt Daudt published a photograph to his Twitter account with the governor standing in between him and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka. Other photographs and video show what appear to be the group getting along famously and even landing some fish.
The key to the successful outing on the Mississippi maybe this: According to Daudt, the budget never came up.
But with a week to go in the session, the camaraderie appears to end there.
Professor David Schultz of Hamline University was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“I would be very surprised if they reach an agreement by the constitutional deadline,” he said. “The real question becomes: Is there any kind of momentum there to get this done by July 1?”
If all sides fail to reach an agreement by next week, the governor could call a special session of the Legislature.
But if there is no agreement by July 1, the state government would shut down.
Thousands of state workers would be furloughed, and government operations deemed nonessential would cease. That would likely include most government offices, state parks and even highway rest stops.