Short take: Senate Republicans speeding along on state budget bills

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 7, 2011 - 12:40 PM

Is timing everything? Minnesota Senate Republicans have made a great point with Capitol reporters of their earlier-than-usual passage of major budget bills.

They did so again at a briefing Thursday marking the start of the conference committee season.

The House GOP majority has been hard on the Senate’s heels. All 10 major spending or taxing bills will be in conference committee, starting this weekend.
 
Minnesotans who want a state government that isn’t prone to gridlock and shutdown might be pleased to see ample time remaining for negotiations between the executive and legislative branches before the Legislature’s constitutionally required May 23 adjournment.
 
But count me among the Capitol watchers who wonder whether all the GOP talk about allowing enough time for deal-making is a way to avoid talk about actually making a deal. On that score, no headway could be detected Thursday.
 
“The answer is no on tax hikes,” said Sen. Geoff Michel, R-Edina.
 
If that answer doesn’t change, starting conference committees earlier is no assurance that compromise between the DFL governor and Republican-controlled Legislature will be achieved.
 
Lori Sturdevant is a Star Tribune editorial writer and columnist.
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