Minnesota Government Shutdown Nears As Budget Talks Abruptly End

mark daytonMinnesota Governor Mark Dayton

With less than four days until the beginning of the state’s new fiscal year, Minnesota is still without a budget — and Governor Mark Dayton and the legislature appear to be making little progress at passing one.Talks between Dayton, a Democrat, and the Republican-controlled state Legislature to close a $5 billion deficit abruptly ended Sunday over a dispute about tax increases, The Associated Press reported.

Dayton, who was elected promising to institute a progressive tax, wants to offset spending cuts in part by increasing taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans. Republicans want to balance the budget entirely with spending cuts.

Unless the two sides reach an agreement by midnight Friday, the state government will shutdown, and 40,000 of it’s employees will be sent home without a job.

Dayton spokeswoman Katie Tinucci offered no comment to the AP, other than to say that the meeting’s end after just an hour and fifteen minutes of negotiation wasn’t a breakdown in talks.

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