Budget negotiations resume behind closed doors
- Author: Alfonso Moody May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 0:45
But the two sides spent Thursday outside of negotiating room and instead in the public eye, criticizing each other's budget proposals and calling on the other side to make the next move.
Gov. Dayton has signed the Real ID bill into law while battling over the budget.
The two sides were back in talks Friday behind closed doors, with a Monday deadline for the Legislature to adjourn.
The governor made what he called a "Meet Half Way" offer, which Republicans interpreted differently. For Dayton, it means expanding a prized preschool program to more schools while sending extra funding to help an overburdened court system and boost state government's cybersecurity efforts.
WDAZ spoke to some Minnesotans and they say they think the increased tab fees are unreasonable, especially for a newer vehicle. Lawmakers are preparing a new round of spending bills to send to the governor if talks do not go well. Daudt says Dayton's stance on spending is "out of touch with where Minnesotans are at on these issues and we're gonna keep fighting for tax relief and for money for roads and bridges".
At the heart of the current disagreement is a seemingly straightforward issue: What constitutes a halfway point when it comes to the state's budget surplus?More news: SEE PICS: Aishwarya Rai Bachchan leaves for Cannes with daughter Aaradhya Bachchan
They traded offers earlier in the week but progress froze Thursday. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, balked at the idea but said he would hear out Gazelka. Also problematic to Republicans is the fact that Dayton wants to move $350 million from the Health Care Access Fund, which he doesn't count in his budget totals.
Meanwhile, the Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders are in a standoff over the budget.
At stake is funding for almost all state government programs.
That plan still led to a messy, one-day special session that almost derailed over disagreements on environmental spending.
In response, Republican lawmakers said they are going into a "cone of silence" on the status of negotiations.