Posted at 5:45 PM on July 12, 2011
by Paul Tosto
As Day 12 of the Minnesota state government shutdown rolls into the evening, here are some of the things we've learned today.
Dayton's road show rolls on. Gov. Mark Dayton kicked off his tour of Minnesota towns in St. Cloud where the conversation focused largely on K-12 funding. On Wednesday, he's in Rochester and Albert Lea. MPR's Tim Pugmire reports that despite his absences from the Capitol, Dayton insists he remains available to negotiate. Republican leaders say they too are ready to meet, but once again, there are no talks scheduled.
A Republican counter offer is not coming soon. Dayton earlier in the day said he believed a new Republican budget offer was in the works and would be completed soon. Republicans later today threw cold water on that, calling again for a special session and declining to say whether a new offer would be coming. Republican House Speaker Kurt Zellers made it clear that his caucus will not vote for a tax increase.
All in all, a day that started with Republicans and Democrats talking, at least a little, in St. Cloud ended with the two sides still firmly entrenched in their positions.
There's nothing on that horizon that looks like compromise. Things can change quickly, but right now there's no sign of it Not much happened today. And DFLers have already sent word of an event Wednesday on the Capitol steps highlighting the struggles many are going through during the shutdown.
Earlier today Republican Rep. Steve Gottwalt suggested the best route would be to get the key leaders out of St. Paul and into a locked room in St. Cloud where they could hammer out a deal. Kind of an intriguing idea.
As of right now, though, Wednesday looks like it will start with more partisan press conferences, not negotiations.