Gov. Dayton ordered that the Minnesota State Capitol be opened to the public tomorrow morning at 9am. The announcement came from a news release issued by Dayton’s office. It said he was opening the Capitol doors “to allow public access and transparency as the Legislature prepares to reconvene to pass a budget.”
Dayton and GOP legislative leaders have been heavily criticized by lobbyists, Common Cause MN and others for negotiating a budget deal behind closed doors. Most, if not all, of the budget negotiations has occurred when the State Capitol was locked to the public. The Capitol was locked after the state government shutdown started on July 1.
Dayton’s staff, his staff and agency heads, state lawmakers and staff and members of the Capitol Press Corps were given access to the building. No one else was allowed inside.
Governor Dayton is expected to call a special session in the coming days so the Legislature can pass a budget and end a state government shutdown that is in its third week.