Monday, May 23, 2011

Final day of session; Will a compromise be reached?

Today is the last day of the regular legislative session and both the House and Senate are expected to go into session at 10:00 a.m. While Gov. Dayton and Republican leadership met over the weekend to try and reach an agreement on the budget, they are still at odds over revenue.

Gov. Dayton said the budget cuts proposed in the spending bills are too drastic, while Republicans have said this is the wrong time to raise taxes and it's time for the state to live within its means. Neither side is budging at this point. If an agreement cannot be reached by tonight, there will be a special session to set the budget. As a reminder, only the governor can call a special session.

Many legislators have introduced legislation over the last few days that will keep certain services running in the event of a government shutdown. A government shutdown is only necessary if lawmakers and the governor cannot come to an agreement by July 1 (the start of the 2012 fiscal year). Meanwhile, Dayton continues to talk with the committee chairs to discuss individual budget bills, including the higher education bill. Stay tuned.

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