Minnesota Lawmakers in Talks to End Government Shutdown

BY Lauren Knapp  July 14, 2011 at 3:06 PM EDT

Minnesota MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

Updated 6:30 p.m. ET
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and GOP lawmakers say they have reached a deal to end a budget showdown that has led to the state’s government shutdown. Dayton told reporters the shutdown was expected to end “within days,” according to news agencies.

Posted 3:06 p.m. ET
Minnesota GOP leaders have agreed to a special meeting on Thursday to discuss an end to the state’s government shutdown.

Minnesota Public Radio has been liveblogging the day’s ongoing events.

Early on Thursday, Gov. Mark Dayton accepted the budget proposal state Republican lawmakers submitted on June 30th, prior to the state’s 14 day-long government shutdown.

In a letter he wrote to the states two top Republicans, Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and Minnesota Speaker of the House Kurt Zelles, Dayton said, “I will reluctantly agree to, although I do not agree with, your signed offer sheet, dated June 30, 2011.”

Dayton read the letter aloud before a discussion of the government shutdown at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Listen to Dayton’s opening remarks:

Watch the full event:

Watch live streaming video from theuptake2 at livestream.com

The deal is not final, however, as Dayton made a few conditions to the June 30th offer. He’s asked Republicans to drop all policy changes from earlier proposals, drop the “15%, across-the-board reduction to the number of employees in all agencies,” and asking that they pass a $500 million bonding bill that would put “people back to work throughout Minnesota”.

Last week Almanac, a weekly public affairs program on Twin Cities Public Television, ran a helpful story that chronicles the past few weeks of the budget showdown.

More Coverage of the Minnesota Government Shutdown from MPR:

Government Shutdown and Budget Page

Some Businesses May Benefit From Shutdown

Prisoner Visits, Religious Services, Eliminated in Shutdown

Shutdown Cutting off the Flow of Alcohol

Shutdown Forces Mental Health Crisis Programs to Cut Services

Minnesota Shutdown: The National Perspective

Read the letter Gov. Mark Dayton sent to State Sen. Amy Koch and Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives Mark Zellers.