Minn. legislators taking budget message to constituents during breakby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — State legislators will be traveling to their home districts this week for their traditional Passover and Easter break and talk to constituents about the budget and other issues in the 2010 session.
When they return to action on April 26, there will be just four weeks remaining in 2011 session. Republican leaders are planning to tour the state this week to talk about the session.
"Almost all of our folks have been doing a good job of letting their constituents know all through the process with weekly email updates, with opinion editorials, [and] some have had some town hall meetings already," said House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove. "So, they've already been doing a really good job of keeping in good contact with their constituents so far, but this is a chance to maybe spend a little more time."
Zellers and other GOP leaders say they expect to begin negotiating soon with DFL Gov. Mark Dayton on remaining budget bills. But Dayton said he won't start until Republicans plug several holes in their proposals.
Sen. Terri Bonoff, DFL-Minnetonka, said the GOP budget bills remain incomplete.
"The proposals before us have the gimmicks and the shifts and the fees that carry on the failed policies of the last eight years," Bonoff said. "We all pledged to not do that, to in fact do the hard and tough work to bring the Minnesota budget in balance and get us on a strong and stable footing moving forward."