No one seems ready to 'blink'

By Chuck Kajer, Managing Editor

The state government shutdown has been with us for nearly a week, and so far neither side seems inclined to blink in this contest of wills.

Republicans Sen. Al DeKruif and Rep. Kelby Woodard stopped in The Times office on Friday, July 1. Both expressed frustration with how the shutdown came to be, and as expected, both placed the blame fully on the Governor, who they say should give in to the Republican demands for a $34 billion budget, or at least call the Legislature into a special session and allow them to pass a Lights On bill that will allow government operations to resume until a full budget agreement can be reached.

The governor, meanwhile, stands firm that it will take at least a tax increase on millionaires to get him to agree to any budget.

Maybe the one thing that is most disappointing, even more than the shutdown itself, is the black and white approach that both sides seem to have taken. The DFL and Republicans are at polar opposites in their positions, despite the fact that polls show most Minnesotans are somewhere in the middle.

Eventually, one or both sides will have to change their stance in order for a budget agreement to be reached. How long that will take remains to be seen, but for the economic health of this state, it needs to happen soon.

If it doesn't, it will be the voters who will decide who is to blame.

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