May 18, 2017 06:42 PM
What do you ultimately want to see in Minnesota's budget for the next two years?
With less than two weeks to go before the May 23 deadline, Republican leaders in the legislature are at an impasse with Governor Dayton. Here's your chance to let these three lawmakers know your thoughts!
Read the story below and take action above.
Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders are in a standoff as they try to agree on a new budget.
The two sides have been meeting all week, trading offers to resolve a $1 billion budget gap and disputes about how much to offer in tax breaks. They have a $1.65 billion surplus to use but just five days to finalize a deal.
But both sides say the latest rounds of negotiations took a step backward. Talks were on hold Thursday as the governor and legislative leaders dug in to their respective positions.
"I'm highly confident we will get there," Dayton said about a budget deal Thursday morning during a meeting with transit funding supporters. "We may not finish next Monday the way things are looking right now. I'd say it's unlikely, although that could change, but we gotta have a budget."
Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt says it's unfortunate the governor rejected a Republican offer Wednesday night and declined to make a counteroffer Thursday.
"To me the ball is in the governor's court," Daudt said Thursday morning in the hallway of the Capitol Press Corps offices. "We made the last offer. We think it's important he stays engaged. His previous, most recent offer he's calling it half way. It's about two-thirds his way and one-third our way."
GOP Ways and Means Chair Jim Knoblach responds to Dayton commissioners...saying GOP made last offer and it's up to Dayton to move next. pic.twitter.com/rwlPy5Ujcw— Tom Hauser (@thauserkstp) May 18, 2017
Dayton wants more money for government services. Republicans are aiming to use that money for road repairs and tax breaks.
The governor's commissioners spoke spoke to reporters Thursday at the governor's request. Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans acknowledged the governor and Republican lawmakers are at an "impasse" on the budget, saying Dayton made an offer to meet the Republicans half way.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Jim Knoblach responded, arguing Republicans made the last offer in the process Wednesday night and it's now up to Dayton to move next.
Knoblach said Dayton is manipulating money in his budget proposal to make it appear he's meeting the Republicans halfway, calling it "fake midway math."
"All I can say to my friend Commissioner Frans, nice try," Knoblach said after Frans briefed reporters.
The regular session ends May 22.
State government will shut down unless lawmakers pass a new budget by July.
KSTP's Tom Hauser contributed to this story
Updated: May 18, 2017 06:42 PM
Created: May 18, 2017 09:25 AM
(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)