REAL ID Finally a Done Deal in Minnesota

Health care a sticking point as budget talks turn specific
Minnesota Budget Talks Hit A Snag
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20 May, 2017

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders hit an impasse Thursday in their quest to set a new Minnesota budget, halting meetings to resolve their massive differences with just days left to finalize a new spending package. Let's look at the Digest.

The offer, as presented by the governor, was a "meet halfway" solution that proposed to split the state's $1.5 billion remaining budget surplus between the two sides' competing priorities.

The federal requirements were first put in place by Congress in 2005 as a terrorism response measure, but some states resisted what they saw as a heavy-handed rule that raised privacy concerns. For Dayton, it means expanding a prized preschool program to more schools while sending extra funding to help an overburdened court system and boost state government's cybersecurity efforts. "You can expect to be here all weekend".

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Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, of Nisswa, said Thursday night that Republicans were working on another offer but offered little detail as to what it would contain. But what lawmakers will be doing during that time is not at all clear. But hundreds of Republican policy provisions could be major obstacles. "If not, then they won't finish on time and it will be their responsibility". "If you get into the policy matters, we are talking about hours and hours and hours of discussion and debate, ' Dayton said this week". But Republicans say it's normal to include policy in budgets. Daudt balked at the idea but said he would hear out Gazelka.

Meanwhile, the state edged closer to a January 2018 deadline by which it must approve Real ID standards, or leave Minnesotans unable to fly or visit military facilities without a passport.

May 18-Minnesota lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to bring the state's driver's licenses in line with upgraded federal security standards, finally ensuring that Minnesotans won't have to use passports to get through airport security.


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