So it has been two weeks since the Minnesota state government shut down all services save those deemed essential by Ramsey County Chief Judge Gearin.
How many offers has Governor Dayton made to resolve the budget gap? Several.
How many offers have Republican leaders? A big fat zero.
This alone should be an indication of which camp in this sorry affair is actually willing to move a little to bring the shutdown to a close. Now today the news comes out that Governor Dayton is offering to accept the last Republican offer before the shutdown began, with a few extra conditions:
Star Tribune Story
My take on this is that it is a bad deal to end an even worse problem. The school funding shifts are more of the same that we got from Pawlenty, and borrowing against the tobacco settlement does nothing to solve the revenue imbalances that got us into this mess in the first place. The added conditions are reasonable and might do something to mitigate the long-term unemployment crisis that is one of the root causes of this and similar budget deficits in other states, but at this point they are only drops in the bucket. I just hope that Minnesota voters have memories longer than most, and that when Nov. 2012 comes along they will punish the Republican party for all of the unnecessary suffering it is causing.
At the same time we really need to start tackling the issue that, while not responsible for the budget crisis itself, is the reason why the budget crisis has gone unresolved for so long: our voting system that stifles reasoned debate and rewards fearmongering and extremism.