Minnesota Ends Shutdown

Budget compromise closes $5B shortfall, heads to Gov. Mark Dayton
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2011 7:33 AM CDT
In this June 30, 2011 file photo, Gov. Mark Dayton speaks hours before the midnight deadline to pass a budget at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, Minn.   (AP Photo/Genevieve Ross, File)
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(Newser) – Minnesota legislators approved a budget today, ending the state's three-week-old shutdown with a 3:30am vote that will likely put some 22,000 state workers back on the clock by tomorrow. Gov. Mark Dayton is expected the sign the series of bills this morning. In order to close a deficit of $5 billion, Democrats gave up on tax increases, Republicans agreed to softer spending cuts, and new revenue was drummed up through delayed payments to schools and one-time borrowing. “We were dealt a situation,” said House Speaker Kurt Zellers. “I think we dealt with it the best that we could.”

Republicans declared themselves satisfied, but no one was exactly celebrating, notes the Star-Tribune. "This represents a compromise," says one Republican senator. "I think there are 201 of us plus a governor who would say this isn't our best option on how to proceed, but it is the best option for bringing Minnesota government back to work." Democrats were less happy, with one calling the deal "the most irresponsible budget in state history." The Star-Tribune has specifics here.

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