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New faces, same results at capitol

With time starting to run short in the Minneosta legislative session, the state appears to be heading to yet another special session, or another government shutdown over the state budget impasse.

Budget talks at the state capitol fared no better with the new faces in the room — Gov. Tim Walz and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka — than they did in the past, when Gov. Mark Dayton was sparring with House Speaker Kurt Daudt. Neither side showed a willingness to compromise in the talks. Walz did offer to cut some $200 million from his $1.9 billion spending increase proposal, but refused to meet Republicans’ demand to lower his proposed gas tax and other tax increases.

Walz is saying his budget proposal includes what Minnesota needs to spend — needs to spend — to maintain quality education, health programs and improve roads. Republicans believe the state budget is already big enough, and won’t budge on increasing it.

Unless and until the Democrats and Republicans decide that “Just Say No” makes for poor negotiations, compromise is going to remain just a word in the dictionary between “combat” and “conflict.”

We had hoped for more and expect better from the new folks at the state capitol.

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