Dayton ‘extremely pessimistic’; GOP’s Zellers says ‘overtime’ acceptable

GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers says “a little overtime” for the legislative session to get a budget deal worked out “probably would be all right.”

Zellers spoke on MPR’s Midday, saying a combination of a large budget deficit and large numbers of new legislators in new House and Senate bodies justify a little extra time.

“I think there’s a difference between overtime and a special session,” Zellers said, adding that it’s still too early to talk about contingency plans in case of a government shutdown.

Gov. Mark Dayton said he’s “extremely pessimistic” a budget deal can be reached by today’s midnight deadline. He also hinted that a special session might not happen right away.

Dayton reiterated that he has scaled back his tax increase proposal, saying a compromise “means agreeing to things you don’t agree with.”

“I’m still standing at the halfway mark waiting for them to budge a dollar,” he said.

Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch argued on Midday that Republicans have already compromised by agreeing to spend more overall than two years ago. They say tax increases aren’t an option.

“This is the largest state budget in the history of the state,” Koch told Midday.

Dayton and GOP leaders say meetings between legislators and the governor’s office will continue today.

“If we’re making some good progress, it might be best to just get back to work,” Koch said of working past the midnight deadline.

  • Bob Alberti

    The problem is that the Republicans aren’t governing, they’re grandstanding. They’re putting on a show for their supporters, but they’re NOT actively supporting the interests of their constituents – including those in their districts who voted for the other candidate. As public servants, the legislators are supposed to be representing ALL their constituents, with those constituents’ best interests at heart. Instead Republican legislators (with a few notable exceptions who voted “NO” last weekend) are NOT serving the best interests of their constituents, but are instead adhering to extremist ideology and grandstanding.

    When can we have recalls?

  • John

    When most of us go to work we are expected to get our work done to get paid. Not the legislature. Mananna. No hurry. No worries. The GOP will soon learn the fine art of compromise. If they don’t they’re toast in the next election. Don’t forget, you’re here to serve the people not too hear yourself talk. Get to work!

  • Andy

    I’m so excited that the issue of Gay Marriage, Abortion, Gun Rights, and every other stupid issue had to come up before dealing with a budget.

    How about those Jobs being created by the GOP?

    Stellar job, just stellar!

  • John O.

    Of course it is “probably alright.” In addition to their paychecks, they also get more per diem the longer they lollygag around in St. Paul.

  • Soo Asheim

    I would appreciate one legislator from the Democratic side and Morrie Lanning of the Republican side (and also my district representative) to give me three reasons

    what you believe and why you believe it for each of the questions below.


    you should not resign? or do you believe you have fulfilled your obligations to the people of Minnesota—to GOVERN and or not choosing to stand steadfast to your party first?

    2) Who is to blame for Minnesota’s multi-billion dollar deficit, the past governor, Tim Pawlenty or the legislators who have been elected and re-elected within the last eight years? Or, did it happen because Minnesota just had some bad luck?