Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.
- Member for
- 5 years 5 months
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota Capitol undercurrent for months has suggested gambling as a way to help solve a budget impasse that now has become the longest government shutdown in state history. "The governor wants more revenue, Republicans want no new taxes," Rep. John Kriesel recently tweeted. "Enter racino and Block E. True compromise. Both sides win. Minnesota wins." The Cottage Grove Republican is one of the outspoken gambling supporters, but many other lawmakers oppose more gambling or have said little about using it as a way to bring more money into the state treasury.
ST. PAUL -- Count many Minnesota legislators among those who expect a long government shutdown. "My gut tells me that if this goes two weeks, it will go until January," Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker said. Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids, added that a quick end to the shutdown is not likely. "I'm not real optimistic at the moment.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota state government is in a partial shutdown and the first budget negotiations in days resulted in nothing more than an agreement to meet again. When Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton was asked what can be done to reach a budget deal with Republican leaders, his only response was: "That's our challenge. ...
ST. PAUL -- Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders meet this afternoon today to restart budget talks and end the state government shutdown, but there was no hope of quick deal. Dayton asked for the meeting and Senate Republicans confirmed the invitation has been accepted. In the meantime, some former Minnesota government leaders suggested forming a committee of ex-policymakers to work out a budget deal. And today was the day people could begin feeling a shutdown.
ST. PAUL -- The most noticeable impact of Minnesota's government shutdown was predictable: state park users on a holiday weekend. "We're 400 miles away from home," said one father at the entrance to Gooseberry Falls State Park Friday as his children piled out of a van to walk down to the falls. The park, one of the state's most popular, technically was closed after state leaders failed to agree on a budget for the two years beginning Friday.
ST. PAUL -- No Minnesotan should be surprised that state government is closed. The topic even arose in last year's governor debates, of course with all candidates saying they did not support a shutdown. News accounts mentioned the possibility as the legislative session began at the first of the year. A House committee discussed shutdown ramifications the second week of January. And Gov. Mark Dayton devoted quite a bit of time in his Feb.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesotans woke up to fog along Lake Superior and sweltering heat in the south. Many headed out for a four-day holiday weekend while others just headed to work. But more than 20,000 state workers are off the job, laid off by the state's worst-ever government shutdown, and many headed to apply for unemployment insurance. On the first day of Minnesota's shutdown, there was no hint that budget negotiations could resume any time soon. Democratic Gov.
ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislative leaders bought themselves some budget negotiating time today by summoning their members to the Capitol. With most of the state's 200 legislators in their offices, a special legislative session could be convened even late tonight today to pass a temporary state budget and avoid a state government shutdown that would begin Friday. But Gov.
ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota government shutdown became more likely Wednesday with each tick of the clock. Budget talks ended late Wednesday without a deal to avert the shutdown. "We do not have a deal," Deputy Senate Majority Leader Geoff Michel, R-Edina, said just before 10 p.m. Gov. Mark Dayton went home, but his staff remained to work on the budget.