Gov. Mark Dayton held a series of meetings today with conference committee chair to discuss individual budget bills.
The DFL governor also met once with Republican House and Senate leaders, but the discussion made no progress toward an end-of-session budget agreement, and time is running out. Lawmakers face a constitutional adjournment deadline of midnight Monday.
Rep. Jim Abeler, R-Anoka, said he spent about 50 minutes in Dayton’s office discussing the large health and human services bill. Abeler said it was a friendly discussion, but there were no breakthroughs on spending or policy.
“He seems to think he’s going to get $1.8 billion from the people of Minnesota, and I believe he is not going to get that,” Abeler said.
Abeler said there’s no doubt that the Legislature will have to return for a special session, but GOP leaders were still claiming that an agreement could be reached in time.
House Democrats took issue with with GOP leaders adjourning Sunday night’s floor session earlier than they expected. Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, said there’s still a lot of work left.
“We are nowhere close to passing a budget that will get signed into law,” Winkler said. “We’re adjourning early with no plan to get this session wrapped up, with no plan to get any work done between now tomorrow evening frankly. It just looks like this session is going to end in disaster.”