Hopes for a quick end to Minnesota’s government shutdown are fading, after Republican lawmakers can’t line up enough votes to pass the budget deal they negotiated with Gov. Mark Dayton (DFL) last week.All but the most critical government services have been shut down for the past 18 days, after the state’s new fiscal year began without a spending bill.
Democratic legislators say they will not back the budget because does not include tax increases.
Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch (R) has said she and Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers (R) have said they have the votes to pass the budget, but many lawmakers are doubtful that is the case, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
A number of Republican lawmakers are unhappy with borrowing against tobacco settlement money, and some would prefer steeper spending cuts to close the state’s $5 billion deficit.
“It’s a difficult situation,” Republican Sen. John Howe told the paper. “There are difficulties with the details and difficulties with the votes.”
Dayton said he will not call a special session until lawmakers are certain they have the support to pass a new budget.
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