Daily Digest: Budget breakdown

Good morning, and here we are to Thursday already. After some initial progress on getting a deal to close the legislative session, things took a big step backwards last night. Here’s the Digest:

1. Budget negotiations between DFL Governor Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders broke down Wednesday night with the two sides accusing each other of not making sufficient compromises to reach a deal. With  just five days left in the session it’s unclear when talks will resume. Dayton made an offer Wednesday afternoon that gave Republicans less than $700 million of the $1.5 billion projected budget surplus to divide between two of their priorities: tax cuts and transportation funding. Not surprisingly, GOP leaders rejected the proposal. Dayton accused Republicans of wanting to cut state programs and services “to the bone” to pay for a “tax giveaway.” He also suggested that he’s done compromising and raised the possibility of a government shutdown. (MPR News)

2. The House and Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Wednesday that will put Minnesota in compliance with federal Real ID standards. Gov. Dayton says he will sign the legislation. It means Minnesotans may no longer have to worry if their licenses will be accepted at federal checkpoints, like airports and military bases next year. Here’s more information about how it will work and what happens next. (Pioneer Press)

3. The Minnesota House failed to pass an $800 million public works bill on Wednesday that would have provided a smaller-than-usual pot of money for roads, bridges, sewer and water systems, college buildings and flood-control projects across the state. Lawmakers voted 70-62 for the bonding bill, but that was short of the 81 vote supermajority needed to increase the state’s debt. That doesn’t mean the construction projects are dead for the year. Lawmakers still have time to revive the measure before the session ends. (Pioneer Press)

4. The Minneapolis NAACP has called for a boycott of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board over what the civil rights organization says is unfair treatment of employees of color in hiring, promotions and discipline. Minneapolis NAACP President Jason Sole said the boycott, which began Monday, includes skipping the Park Board meetings, park activities, and directing park employees to not take on any new duties until several stipulations are met. The group also vowed to disrupt the upcoming International Urban Park Conference that will be held in the Twin Cities.(Star Tribune)

5. Paul Ridgeway helped coordinate a Soviet president’s visit to the Twin Cities, orchestrated political events and coordinated transportation for Super Bowls around the country — after showing up to a planning meeting in Minnesota on a dog sled. “He was Minnesota’s P.T. Barnum,” said Kevin Foley, a close friend and fellow events planner. Ridgeway, 68, of Plymouth, died Saturday of complications from open heart surgery, said his wife, Roz. He will be remembered as an audacious special events impresario whose high-energy jobs ranged all over the social and political spectrum. (Star Tribune)

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