There is less than 18 hours left for the Minnesota Legislature to reach a budget deal with Gov. Dayton. It’s all but certain a special session will be called to pass a two-year budget that erases a $5 billion projected budget deficit. The key question is when Gov. Dayton decides to call lawmakers back for a special session. State government would shut down on July 1 if a budget isn’t signed into law.
GOP legislative leaders met privately with Gov. Dayton on Sunday but are no closer to reaching a budget deal.
Pessimism is growing among some lawmakers.
Tidbit: Dayton, GOP legislative leaders and other lawmakers will be on MPR’s Midday today from 11am-1pm.
A conference committee debating the merits of the Legacy Amendment funds included an amendment that says no funds will be distributed until there’s a budget agreement.
Constitutional Amendment to ban same-sex marriage
Groups started preparing for the 2012 ballot initiative that would ban same-sex marriage. Both sides expect millions to be spent on the campaign.
Democrats in the Minnesota House continue to protest the cleansing of Friday’s prayer flap.
Stand your ground bill
A gun rights group is criticizing Senate Republicans for not taking up a bill that would change when it’s legal for a person to shoot someone in self defense. A spokesman for the Senate GOP would not say if Senate Republicans are shelving the bill for the year.
Members of the Minnesota National Guard are saying good-bye to families as they prepare to head back to Iraq. Check out MPR’s series, The Red Bulls Return to War.
A sendoff was held at Fort Snelling on Sunday.
Race for President
Tim Pawlenty will officially launch his campaign for president today at a town hall in Des Moines.
Pawlenty released a video on Sunday night previewing his announcement.
He also released a morning editorial in USA Today.
Politico says Mitch Daniels’ decision to not not run couldn’t come at a better time for Pawlenty.
Democrats are already criticizing Pawlenty in a web video. DFL Party Chair Ken Martin will also be in Iowa today to react to Pawlenty’s town hall.
AP says Democrats are meddling in the slow-starting GOP primary.
MinnPost writes about what GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann is thinking about as she prepares to run for president.