‘We do not have a deal’

Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders broke off talks tonight at 9:30. There are no more talks scheduled for tonight and no talks scheduled for tomorrow. The two sides have one more full day to reach a budget deal or state government shuts down.

“We do not have a deal,” Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, said.

He said they are close on many areas. He declined to provide specifics.

“We’re absolutely committed to getting this finished, to completing our work. We just need a little help from the governor to call us back.”

Michel renewed his call for Gov. Dayton to call a special session so lawmakers could at least pass a bill that would keep government running. Dayton, who made no public comments on Wednesday, has said he won’t call lawmakers back until they agree to a full budget deal.

Today’s budget talks were considered important because Dayton told reporters earlier this week that a deal had to be in place by Wednesday night to avert a shutdown. His spokesman was mum on whether Dayton thought a shutdown was inevitable now that a deal wasn’t reached.

“We’re continuing to work to avoid that,” Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said of a looming shutdown.

Dayton and legislative leaders met privately through the day with committee chairs and commissioners who focus on K12 schools and Health and Human Services programs.

The two sides are at odds over the best way to craft a two year budget. Dayton wants to erase a $5 billion budget deficit by raising income taxes on top earners. Republicans say they can erase the deficit through spending cuts. State government shuts down at midnight if the two sides fail to do their work.

GOP leaders say Republicans are preparing to come back to St. Paul on Thursday with hopes that a budget deal can be reached. The move is also a public relations effort to emphasize that the GOP controlled Legislature wants to get back to work.

State government will shut down at midnight Thursday if a budget deal is not reached.

  • Paul

    A question with an easy answer, who needs more help right now: Top2% or middle class?

    MN House GOP suffers in 2012 because they are stuck on ideology and not compromising their “values” which are protecting the Top2%.

  • Kathy

    GOP, why do you protect the rich at the expense of the poor? What is it that differentiates humans from animals? How we treat the poor is one measure of our humanity. Please consider this in your negotiations.

  • danno

    At least the people who voted Republican won’t be whining about the state parks being closed, since that is exactly what they want–less government. IMHO, if you voted Republican and did not know whether or not your candidate signed the no-tax pledge, you did not do your homework. If you knowingly voted for a pledge-signer, your wishes have borne fruit–a government stalemate because some of the negotiators signed away any ability to govern which they might have had in the first place. I am laid off and happy. I haven’t had a vacation in at least five years.

  • Kiko

    Those of you who are stuck on promoting class warfare forget the fact that many of us in the middle class voted to replace the free spending DFL legislature and senate with fiscally conservative Republicans. The point of the debate on this budget is the unsustainable free entitlements handed out without discretion by our Minnesota Nice government for years.

    Those who are really in need of help will not be forgotten about in this Legislature’s budget. Those who will begin to see cut backs are those who have been allowed to leach off the government dime when they have the means to get out and support themselves.

    If the Governor wants to shut the government down in the hopes of helping the DFL party in 2012 he is cutting the liberals own throats.