DFL Gov.Mark Dayton traveled to St. Cloud today to talk about the budget impasse and state government shutdown, but he didn’t take Republican legislative leaders along for the ride.
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said she called Dayton this morning to suggest that she and House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, participate in the event as well as others the governor has scheduled this week. She also suggested riding in the same car. The request didn’t fly, but Koch said she thought it could have been productive.
“I thought, well, we have to keep talking, and this would be a way to engage the public. The governor is going out across the state, and it would be a way to sort of present both sides to the public. And then, I thought if we rode together, nothing more Minnesotan in the summer than a road trip. We could continue budget negotiations in the car.”
Dayton’s press secretary said the governor told Koch that he would prefer the GOP leaders spend their time working on a counter-proposal to the budget offers he has made. Dayton also said he would be available to meet with Republican leaders when he returned from St. Cloud.