Minnesota Shutdown & Deal
July 15, 2011 by USA Post
Minnesota Shutdown & Deal, Governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton and top Republicans agreed Thursday to end a budget impasse that caused the state government to close with the Democratic governor to forgo raising taxes.
The agreement came after a negotiating session of three hours that followed Dayton’s announcement of its offer earlier in the day. If the details were developed and approved by state lawmakers that would end the stop on the way to solve one and 5 billion deficit that lasted two weeks now.
Dayton, said the government would be back in business “soon” but did not say exactly when.
The two sides agreed on a proposal that would increase and 1.4 billion in new revenue, half the delay checks of state aid to school districts and half from the sale of snuff payment bonds. It was a great sacrifice for Dayton, which had made new tax revenues from a central point in his campaign last year and the center of your budget.
Republicans said they agreed to drop a list of policy changes and a plan to reduce the state workforce by 15 percent.
“This is to ensure that agreement is reached we can all be disappointed, but a deal is done, a budget that is balanced, a state that is back to work,” said Republican House of Representatives Kurt Zellers, which Dayton appeared with Senate Majority Amy Koch after the private meeting.
The looks on their faces grim testimony to hard bargaining.
“Nobody is going to be happy with this, which is the essence of real commitment,” said Dayton.
The date of a special legislative session to approve a final budget and the closing has not been established. Some of the terms of the agreement still need to be filled in.
The closure has been idle 22,000 employees; the state closed parks and rest stops and cut funding for many social services. It has cost the state millions in the cost of preparing for the closure and loss of income since then.
The disruption also prevented business and professional licensing in the state. The drawback is threatening to stop licensing the sale of Miller, Coors and other beers popular in the state within days.
State payments to schools and local governments have continued, and a court has taken some of the pressure to restart the flow of cash to programs ranging from childcare assistance to food service home for the elderly.
The governor looked tired early on Thursday when it announced it would adopt the proposal of the Republican Party, which was offered on the eve of the closure.
The agreement is subject to the approval of the Legislature, not an easy task after an election in which a more conservative Republican caucuses took power. Koch and Zellers said they believe rank and file lawmakers approve. Republicans have narrow margins in both chambers, and Democratic leaders were not minority in treatment decisions.
The unions and some Democrats criticized the plan as irresponsible for borrowing against future income.
“More debt and more debt just this bad situation,” said state Rep. Ryan Winkler, a Democrat from Golden Valley, in a statement. Winkler said the delay in school funding, which has become a regular part of balancing the budget in Minnesota, “mortgaging the future of our children.”
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