Little talking – No negotiating
Thursday was a very quiet day at the Capitol. Governor Dayton and leaders did not meet. Instead, Minnesota Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans and Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly held an afternoon press conference.
Commissioner Frans said Republicans have to come closer to the governor’s numbers.
“He really went to the 50-yard line, and we’re waiting for the Legislature to come to the 50-yard line. So, we’re at an impasse. I’m not saying we’re not going to do anything differently in the future. Right now though, we made an offer to meet halfway and we haven’t been met halfway, and that’s why we’re at an impasse right now.”
Republicans contend that Dayton’s so-called halfway offer is a miscalculation and a mischaracterization.
Rep. Jim Knoblach (R-St. Cloud) the chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the governor didn’t start calculating the midpoint until he set aside $83 million for the state court system and $45 million for cyber security improvements. Knoblach said Dayton also is taking $350 million from a special health care fund and not counting it against his midpoint.
“It’s not half. It’s nowhere close to half. This isn’t a halfway budget. If we’re going to consider a halfway budget we’ve got to consider all the spending. We’ve got to consider all the funds that are being talked about. All I can say to my friend Commissioner Frans is, nice try.”
As of late Thursday evening, an early Friday morning meeting was possible.