Governor Mark Dayton’s point-man on the state budget paints a pessimistic picture for the legislature finishing its business by the third-week-in-May deadline, saying budget bills Republicans are passing rely on fake savings, gimmicks and unrealistic cuts. Commissioner Myron Frans says they are not the kind of budget bills needed to wrap up a compromise by the end of the regular session in May — and even more than that, “These bills do not represent a valid starting point for negotiations.” And what if Republicans send those bills to the governor for his signature? Frans says, “I can say at this point… I don’t know if I would say all, but I would recommend that the governor veto these bills in their current form.”
Frans says despite being “a pretty optimistic guy… I’m concerned. I’ll just say I’m concerned that we may not get there on time.” There’s more and more speculation around the halls of the Capitol about whether there will have to be a special session or if deadlock will force government shutdown. Republicans say they’re willing to work with the governor to make sure that doesn’t happen. They’re urging Dayton and his commissioners to get involved early-on in the process of negotiating a new state budget.
Excerpts from Frans’ briefing: