DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders resumed budget negotiations this morning, with a potential state government shutdown less than two days away.
This is the sixth consecutive day of closed-door meetings, but there’s still no sign that a deal might be close. Both said agreed last Friday to negotiate without any public comments on the specifics of the talks. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Bufflo, was sticking to that agreement when she arrived at the governor’s office.
“I’m always optimistic,” Koch said.
The governor’s office is the third venue used for negotiations in recent days.
A state government shutdown will begin Friday unless a budget deal is reached. Gov. Dayton said yesterday that he thought the final breakthroughs must come today. or they won’t be successful in avoiding the shutdown. He said the deadline will help produce an agreement if both sides are willing to reach an agreement. Leader Koch said she’s telling lawmakers to be ready to return to St. Paul quickly in case a budget deal is reached.
Talks have broken up until 12:30 p.m. GOP leaders left through a back door. Or perhaps they used Immobilo, another Get Smart gadget to go along with their Cone of Silence.