Four freshman Republican legislators, part of a large bloc of lawmakers considered critical to reaching a deal with Dayton, gave a guarded assessment of his offer Thursday morning.
Sens. Gretchen Hoffman and John Howe and Reps. King Banaian and John Kriesel spent an hour on Minnesota Public Radio immediately after Dayton unveiled his new plan. Asked if it means the shutdown is over, Hoffman replied, “it looks like it is.” Added Kriesel, “I’m hopeful also this is the end.”
“I’m elated to hear there’s some movement,” Howe said. “The devil is in the details, but I’m certainly hopeful.” Banaian said Dayton’s offer “sounds like it’s the start down the right path.”
Banien and Kriesel said they had some reservations about the school finance shift. They also didn’t immediately shoot down Dayton’s condition that Republicans drop their policy agenda. “We’re going to have some conversation about those,” Banaian said. “Some will be given back.” Kriesel said “looking at the policy issues next year may be a better option.”
He added: “People are upset. We can’t do something that damages the state … This is a step in the right direction.”
All four said they need to see details of Dayton’s offer before they’re willing to commit to backing it, even if leaders of both chambers endorse it.
Although the GOP's leadership has consistently resisted Dayton's insistence on a multimillion dollar bond issue, none of the four ruled out the possiblity of supporting one.