Mixed public, lawmaker reaction to shutdown-end offer

Posted at 12:03 PM on July 14, 2011 by Paul Tosto (2 Comments)

After Gov. Mark Dayton this morning said he'd accept a prior GOP budget offer with conditions, it seemed like people would run to the deal to end the state government shutdown.

Yet public reaction online and from citizens in MPR's Public Insight Network has ranged from relief the shutdown might be over to bewilderment over the value of the two-week shutdown if a deal was doable two weeks ago, to skepticism that this is really the end of it.

Minutes after Dayton's announcement, Roseville DFL Rep. Mindy Greiling, a key DFL leader on education issues, tweeted, "No way can I support this awful "compromise" further tanking schools, deeper debt, kicking the whale down the road & a stadium?"


Spokesmen for the House and Senate GOP leaders said they were still studying Dayton's offer and were not ready to comment.

Republicans are expected to meet with Dayton at 2 p.m. today to discuss the budget.

Four Republican freshmen lawmakers who were guests on MPR's Midday said they hoped the shutdown would soon end but added they need to see the details of Dayton's proposal.

"I think we're on the right path but I think we still have some things we're going to need to talk about," said Rep. King Banaian, R-St. Cloud. "We're going to have to have conversations about [policy]. We really want to look at which ones we still want to fight for."

"I have to see the details," Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, added. I want this done. I want this shutdown done. But we really have to look at what we're voting on, especially if it puts us in a tough spot two years from now."

Republican Senator John Howe of Red Wing said lawmakers need to get the budget deal done, even if it uses smoke and mirrors. Howe said there is still a structural imbalance in the budget that must eventually be addressed.

Barbara Fritz, an instructor at Rochester Community and Technical College, was part of Dayton's Rochester meeting on Wednesday and strongly backs him.

But she thinks Dayton may have been swayed to accept a largely Republican offer after hearing stories in Rochester of how people were suffering during the shutdown.

"I am afraid that the governor may have based this decision on listening to citizens who were very upset and afraid due to real or possible loss of services and layoffs," Fritz said. "

Many of us feel very strongly that Gov. Dayton needs to find a way to put more tax burden on those with more. I know he is getting much resistance from the republicans and others, and regrettably, I don't think the citizenry of Minnesota who support Gov. Dayton let him really hear and feel that support."

Tom Horner, who ran for governor last on the Independence Party ticket, attacked Dayton and Republicans on the prospective budget deal, writing, "Minnesotans are being offered a state of mediocrity... the deals being bandied about by Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders are sacrificing the state's long-term future for short-term solutions."

(MPR News reporters Tim Pugmire and Elizabeth Dunbar contributed)

Comments (2)

Just more proof the Dayton is in bed for the unions, personally I think the republicans should not agree to this at all. However the devil is in the details, if you give me 500 million and don't touch the union issues. Typical of both the Dems and Unions.. straight up cowards. The Republicans want minnesota to succeed that is more than I can say for the party of we dont wnat to take respondsibility for our actions.

Posted by Gary Hanson | July 14, 2011 1:52 PM

I'm very disappointed that the governor has backed down. What was this strike about? If he caves in now what happens in 2 years. We seem to be delaying the inevitable. This is very dissapointing.

Posted by 283Banfil | July 14, 2011 2:56 PM

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