Chris Tierney joined with a group from Veterans For Peace as they demonstrated outside the Governor's office where legislators and the governor conducted meeting on and off throughout the day. Tierney, St. Paul, said that he served in Vietnam during 1973-74 in the U.S. Army.

Jim Gehrz, Dml - Star Tribune

C. J. Turner, of Minneapolis, chanted to tax the rich during a protest in the rotunda at the state Capitol with hours left until a government shutdown.

Kyndell Harkness, Dml - Star Tribune

House Speaker Kurt Zellers (right) walked past a group from Veterans For Peace as they shouted and demonstrated outside the Governor's office in the afternoon on June 30, 2011. The meeting with the Governor was short lived, as a spokesman soon emerged and said the that meeting had ended with no agreement.

Jim Gehrz, The Star Tribune

Governor Mark Dayton (middle), House Speaker Kurt Zellers (left) and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch adjourned a meeting that had taken place in Dayton's office at the State Capitol, apparently without reaching an agreement to end the budget crisis Thursday morning, June 30, 2011.

Jim Gehrz, Dml - Star Tribune

Budget deal 'doesn't look likely,' Dayton says

  • Article by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Eric Roper
  • Star Tribune
  • June 30, 2011 - 9:36 PM

The afternoon before a massive state government shutdown, legislative leaders made a budget deal seem doable.

By evening's fall, it didn't as partisan rancor ramped up.

Walking out of his car and to the state Capitol, Gov. Mark Dayton appeared to lose hope that a budget deal would come together.

"It doesn't look likely," Dayton said.

His new pessimism adds to that of DFL leaders.

Budget negotiations broke up several hours ago with no moves to reconvene.

Republican House members staged a symbolic "sit in" in the chambers they haven't used since the end of the session, signaling their desire for a special session. DFL leaders hit back, saying the GOP-led a "do nothing" Legislature that concentrated on social issues and produced little.

House Speaker Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, calmly led the theatrics.

"Our guys, obviously, are very comfortable with where we are," said Zellers, standing in the Minnesota House chamber at 8:30 p.m. Thursday evening, as most of his House Republican colleagues sat in their seats, waiting for DFL Gov. Mark Dayton to agree to a budget deal.

The move made agreement less likely.

"The deal was in reach as early as early afternoon," said Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk. "Time is slipping...It seem like it is getting much more difficult."

"It is much more difficult than it was four hours ago," Bakk said. 

Mike Kaszuba contributed to this report.

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