Posted at 6:39 AM on June 29, 2011
by Tom Scheck
Filed under: Daily Digest
Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders will meet again today at 9am. There are less than 48 hours until a state government shutdown. The two sides stuck to their position of saying nothing about the meetings even though there's a lot of public uncertainty over what happens on July 1.
Tuesday's budget talks focused on Health and Human Services spending.
Dayton says he recognizes that time is growing short.
MPR takes a look at the politics going on in the meetings and who loses politically in the event of a shutdown.
The Star Tribune takes a look at whether Racinos are a budget solution continues.
Tidbit: Watch the Medicaid surcharge. It raises more than double what Racinos would deliver.
A judge has ruled that the courts need to continue even if a shutdown occurs.
A shutdown could devastate mental health care services.
Domestic abuse shelters would close or reduce services in the event of a shutdown.
The Pi Press says workforce centers would close.
A skeleton crew will staff the MPCA if a shutdown occurs.
No lottery tickets will be sold if a shutdown occurs.
It would also end MnPASS for carpool lanes.
The Star Tribune reports that a Vikings say a stadium deal would be ready when a special session is called.
Top Democrats reject a proposed cut to Medicare.
Democrats continue to push for the DREAM Act despite GOP opposition.
Race for Congress
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum says House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will attend two fundraisers in MN next month.
Race for President
President Obama is going beyond e-mail and texting in his quest for votes.
Tim Pawlenty criticizes Obama and his GOP challengers on foreign policy.
The Washington Post characterizes his speech as "aggressive."
The Daily Beast says Pawlenty is making a huge gamble on Iowa.
Michele Bachmann draws a big crowd in South Carolina.
NBC says Bachmann's husband got $137,000 in Medicaid funds.
The PoliGraph says GOP Rep. Michele Bachmann's debt claim is not as simple as it sounds.
DFL Rep. Betty McCollum goes after Bachmann at a WomenWinning Fundraiser.
Tom Petty sent Bachmann a cease and desist over the use of "American girl."
Bachmann also said she could support abolishing the minimum wage.
The Hill takes a look at the candidate's other halves.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann has climbed 8 points in a Suffolk University/7NEWS (WHDH TV) poll of likely voters in New Hampshire's GOP presidential primary.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remains a front-runner in the Granite State with 36 percent support, but Bachmann's gain since May, to 11 percent, was greater than any other candidate. With the exception of Romney and Bachmann, support for the 18 candidates remained in single digits. Tim Pawlenty's support eroded 3 points, to 2 percent.
Among those who watched the Republican presidential debate in Manchester earlier this month, 33 percent said Romney won the debate, while 31 percent gave the win to Bachmann.
The statewide survey, which was released Tuesday, of 400 likely voters in New Hampshire's Republican Presidential Primary was conducted via telephone on June 25-27. The poll has a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders resumed budget negotiations this morning, with a potential state government shutdown less than two days away.
This is the sixth consecutive day of closed-door meetings, but there's still no sign that a deal might be close. Both said agreed last Friday to negotiate without any public comments on the specifics of the talks. Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Bufflo, was sticking to that agreement when she arrived at the governor's office.
"I'm always optimistic," Koch said.
The governor's office is the third venue used for negotiations in recent days.
A state government shutdown will begin Friday unless a budget deal is reached. Gov. Dayton said yesterday that he thought the final breakthroughs must come today. or they won't be successful in avoiding the shutdown. He said the deadline will help produce an agreement if both sides are willing to reach an agreement. Leader Koch said she's telling lawmakers to be ready to return to St. Paul quickly in case a budget deal is reached.
Talks have broken up until 12:30 p.m. GOP leaders left through a back door. Or perhaps they used Immobilo, another Get Smart gadget to go along with their Cone of Silence.
Core services of state government should continue in a state government shutdown, Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin ruled Wednesday.
Gearin also appointed retired state Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Blatz as Special Master to hear and make recommendations to the court regarding funding issues.
Gearin said temporary funding to core services should continue until the end of July or until DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and the Legislature agree on a budget.
Here's the order.
WASHINGTON - Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's campaign quickly responded to an NBC report that her husband's counseling practice received $137,000 in Medicaid payments while denouncing the program for contributing to "welfare rolls."
"Medicaid is a valuable form of insurance for many Americans and it would be discriminatory not to accept Medicaid as a form of payment," said Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart. "As a state-sponsored counseling service, Bachmann and Associates has a responsibility to provide Medicaid and medical assistance, regardless of a patient's financial situation."
NBC's report was based on documents received through a Freedom of Information Act request.
David Lillehaug, an attorney for Governor Dayton says he's pleased Ramsey County Judge Kathleen Gearin appeared to adopt Dayton's recommendations regarding which government services will continue if a shutdown occurs on Friday. But he said it won't be pretty if Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders can't reach an agreement.
"Based on her order, this is going to be a tough shutdown," Lillehaug said. "Anyone who says government doesn't do anything and doesn't do it well, upon reading this order, and if we do reach a shutdown on July 1, they're going to realize they're very very wrong."
Dayton issued this statement:
"While I am still reviewing Chief Judge Gearin's order, it appears that her order arrived at the same middle ground as my Administration, and essentially agreed with my list of critical services that must continue. I prepared that list based on my constitutional responsibility as Governor to protect the lives and safety of the people of Minnesota. I arrived at that list with a heavy heart, knowing full well the important role that government plays in the everyday success of Minnesota's citizens and businesses.
"Let me be clear: I would much prefer to find a fair and balanced budget solution, rather than a government shutdown. I am continuing to work toward a compromise needed to move forward."
Attorney General Lori Swanson released this statement on Gearin's decision:
"I am pleased that the courts granted our petitions with respect to both the judicial and executive branches.
We sought a declaration that the courts make the ultimate determination concerning the constitutional rights of our citizens and the core functions of state government in the event of a shutdown. In both cases, the courts did so.
We look forward to addressing further issues as they arise before Chief Justice Blatz."
GOP legislative leaders have been silent on Gearin's decision. Attorney Fritz Knaak, representing four individual GOP Senators, says his clients may challenge the constitutionality of Gearin's order. He says the state constitution forbids state spending that isn't authorized by the Legislature.
"Certainly in the next few days, if there isn't some kind of solution, I know my clients will certainly be scrutinizing this and make a decision on whether they want this issue fully reviewed."
The Minnesota Supreme Court tossed the initial petition that challenged whether a judge had the right to authorize state spending despite an appropriation. The court didn't rule on the merits of the challenge but said it was the wrong venue.
Budget talks between Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders will continue beginning at 8pm Wednesday night
Dayton and GOP leaders have made few comments of substance about the status of budget talks. They have said they are maintaining a "cone of silence" to allow frank negotiations. In the meantime, the public is left to wonder whether state government will shut down at midnight on Thursday.
On Tuesday, Dayton said a deal would have to be reached by Wednesday night in order to avert a shutdown
Dayton and the GOP controlled Legislature are at odds over the best way to craft a two-year budget. Dayton wants to increase income taxes on Minnesota's top earners to erase a $5 billion budget deficit. Republicans say the deficit can be erased through spending cuts.
As the impasse continues among Dayton and the Legislature, a Ramsey County judge ruled that some services will continue.
You can read about the impact of that ruling here.
You can also check out MPR's Shutdown blog for more information on the looming shutdown.
Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders have been mum about their private negotiations. After nearly every meeting, the two sides decline to discuss specifics saying they want to respect the "Cone of silence" between the two parties. The idea is that negotiators can be more frank about their discussions if they don't discuss the ideas in public.
No one knows why Dayton and legislative leaders came up with that term. Several reporters say GOP Rep. Kurt Zellers first coined the term to the press on Sunday.
Fans of the TV show, Get Smart, may remember that "the cone of silence" was used to keep top secret talks private.
The only problem, as you see in this video, is that those within the "Cone of silence" couldn't hear what the others in the "Cone of silence" were saying.
The Minnesota State Capitol will close its doors to the public if a state shutdown occurs.
Minnesota Management and Budget says the State Capitol, the Administration building and the State Office Building will be closed to the public.
Access to all Capitol Complex buildings will be limited to court-approved, critical services employees using their state-issued I.D. badge.
All tunnels throughout the Capitol Complex will be closed with exception of Admin tunnel to Capitol. No state employees providing critical services will have access to any tunnel other than the Admin tunnel.
I.D. badges must be prominently displayed at all times. Building occupants not displaying I.D. badges will be subject to challenge by Capitol Security personnel.
Non-state personnel/general public having business or attending an open meeting in either the Capitol Building or the State Office Building will be screened by uniformed staff for admission at a single ground level entrance at each building:
• Capitol Building - Northwest Entrance adjacent to Parking Lot N
State Office Building - South Entrance opposite the Transportation Building
Capitol Security is also telling Capitol reporters that they need to have their press badges to get into the building to cover budget talks.
Gov. Dayton and GOP legislative leaders broke off talks tonight at 9:30. There are no more talks scheduled for tonight and no talks scheduled for tomorrow. The two sides have one more full day to reach a budget deal or state government shuts down.
"We do not have a deal," Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina, said.
He said they are close on many areas. He declined to provide specifics.
"We're absolutely committed to getting this finished, to completing our work. We just need a little help from the governor to call us back."
Michel renewed his call for Gov. Dayton to call a special session so lawmakers could at least pass a bill that would keep government running. Dayton, who made no public comments on Wednesday, has said he won't call lawmakers back until they agree to a full budget deal.
Today's budget talks were considered important because Dayton told reporters earlier this week that a deal had to be in place by Wednesday night to avert a shutdown. His spokesman was mum on whether Dayton thought a shutdown was inevitable now that a deal wasn't reached.
"We're continuing to work to avoid that," Dayton spokeswoman Katharine Tinucci said of a looming shutdown.
Dayton and legislative leaders met privately through the day with committee chairs and commissioners who focus on K12 schools and Health and Human Services programs.
The two sides are at odds over the best way to craft a two year budget. Dayton wants to erase a $5 billion budget deficit by raising income taxes on top earners. Republicans say they can erase the deficit through spending cuts. State government shuts down at midnight if the two sides fail to do their work.
GOP leaders say Republicans are preparing to come back to St. Paul on Thursday with hopes that a budget deal can be reached. The move is also a public relations effort to emphasize that the GOP controlled Legislature wants to get back to work.
State government will shut down at midnight Thursday if a budget deal is not reached.(4 Comments)