October 30, 2014

“Two steps forward, one back” at statehouse

Only a few lawmakers are at the statehouse today, negotiating in private over a host of issues to try to bring the 2012 legislative session to an end. According to Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal, some “tentative” deals have been made on two key budget bills.

“One big and one small,” Gronstal told reporters.

But that’s as far as Gronstal would go in revealing what may be in the works. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen — the top Republican in the legislature — is equally unwilling to talk about the negotiations.

“I think we’re making progress,” Paulsen told reporters.

Earlier this year these two leaders had expressed hope the legislature would conclude its work in mid-April. Now, Gronstal’s reluctant to talk about what his new target date for completion may be.

“My job is to move people to resolution in a timely way and I’m doing my very best to do that,” Gronstal said.

According to Paulsen, things are “moving” to resolution, but he’s not pegging an end date either.

“We seem to make two steps forward, one back,” Paulsen said. “…I am, I guess, satisfied at this point that everybody’s working…We’ve just got to keep plowing through it.”

The House took one action this morning, approving a resolution to mark the 75th Anniversary of Melrose High School winning the 1937 State Boys’ Basketball Championship. It passed by voice vote — with just one audible “yes” vote.