Day 14: Shutdown To End? Dayton To Accept GOP Offer With Conditions

Thursday, July 14th, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has agreed to accept the latest GOP budget offer to end a government shutdown, as long as the Republicans will meet a few conditions. Dayton says he’s ready to call a special session within the next three days in that scenario.

Dayton said Thursday that he wants to end the government shutdown because he knows it is not good for the people of the state.

“During the past two weeks, I have been listening to the people throughout Minnesota. They are telling me that, overwhelmingly, they want this budget dispute resolved,” The Associated Press reports Dayton stated in a letter to GOP leaders.

Dayton says he will accept the republican budget offer, which was presented on June 30, with three conditions — that all social policy language be removed, that they pass a $500 million construction projects bill, and that all language regarding union’s collective bargaining rights also be removed.

The AP reports that Dayton would also like to see the GOP drop a plan to reduce the state workforce by 15 percent.

“We must concentrate our efforts on reaching the budget agreements that will return Minnesota to work, not on continuing disagreements over issues on which we do not agree,” Dayton stated in the letter.

The offer would borrow $1.4 billion, half by delaying state aid checks to schools districts and the other half by selling tobacco payment bonds.

Dayton is now waiting to hear from the GOP on those conditions.

Dayton said he describes the current harsh Minnesota political climate as a “civil war.”

A statewide government shutdown began July 1, marking the longest state shutdown in Minnesota’s history, and the longest state shutdown in the nation in the past decade. The shutdown put 22,000 state employees out of work, stalled 100 road construction projects, barricaded state parks and halted numerous government-run services and programs.

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