Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Governor Dayton asks lawmakers to meet in middle; Leadership not so keen

Yesterday at the Capitol

Gov. Dayton held a press conference yesterday morning to discuss the offer he made to legislative leadership to "meet them halfway" on the remaining $3.6 billion budget deficit after the agreed-upon postponement of the shift in school aid payments. Dayton offered $1.8 billion in spending cuts and $1.8 billion additional tax revenues, which is a drop from his original proposal of $3.356 billion in new tax revenues.

Republican leaders held a press conference later in the afternoon where Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said they stand against any tax increase and intend to "hold the line on spending." Koch said they cannot compromise on any new revenue. House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, said Minnesota cannot be an outlier with other states spending within their means. When asked if they have a counter proposal to the governor's proposal, Koch responded that it is posted online, meaning the conference committee reports. The conference reports can be found here.

When a reporter asked given the uncertainty about when the governor will weigh in on the budget bills, when will they move on them, Koch said they will have a balanced budget that passes the Legislature before May 23. Koch said they will continue to negotiate with the governor, "We will keep our phones on, doors open and reach out to the governor." She did say however that eventually they will have to close up the budget bills. Zellers said, "We're here, we're ready to negotiate, and we want to end the session on time."

Expect multiple press conferences by both Gov. Dayton and Republican leadership throughout the week. Both sides are expected to meet again this morning.

Also note, the state government conference committee did not meet last night as originally scheduled, but are meeting this morning at 8:30. The meeting is televised.

Today at the Capitol

8:30 AM *Televised*
Conference Committee on SF 1047: State government omnibus bill
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chairs: Rep. Morrie Lanning and Sen. Mike Parry
Agenda: SF 1047 state government omnibus bill

10:30 AM
Senate in Session

11:00 AM
House in Session

3:00 PM
Conference Committee on S.F. 1030: K-12 Education omnibus bill
Room: 107 Capitol
Chairs: Sen. Gen Olson and Rep. Pat Garofalo
SENATE: Olson; Nelson; Thompson; Kruse; Wolf
HOUSE: Garofalo; Kelly; Doepke; Fabian; Erickson
Agenda: S.F. 1030-Olson, G.: Omnibus early childhood through grade 12 education policy provisions modifications and appropriations.

4:00 PM (or at the call of the chair)
Conference Committee on HF 1326: Omnibus liquor bill
Chair: Rep. Joe Hoppe
Agenda: HF1326 - Brewer taproom licenses authorized, bed and breakfasts allowed to serve Minnesota beer, clarifying, technical, and other changes made to license provisions, and on-sale and off-sale license issuance authorized

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