With days to go, Minnesota budget talks hit a stalemate


Residents don't need to worry about trouble boarding flights next year: Gov. Dayton signed a bill bringing the state into compliance with the federal Real ID law. The next deadline would be June 30, when the state fiscal year ends and the state government would have to shut down without a new budget. The two sides traded budget offers throughout the week, starting to narrow a sizable gap between their proposals while expressing hope they could wrap up a deal in time. The new driver's licenses don't look much different from current IDs, but what's required to get one is different: verified proof of birth, residence, Social Security numbers and lawful citizenship status.

"Whether it's visiting a child at a military base or taking their family on vacation, Minnesotans deserve the peace-of-mind that with their normal driver's licenses they are fully capable of going about their lives and work", said Rep. Dennis Smith, a Republican from Maple Grove who authored the bill. The non-compliant license will not require the extra checks needed for a Real ID license and it can not be used for federal purposes.

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While prospects for settling the budget remained cloudy, the Real ID agreement constituted actual progress on a long-unresolved issue.

But the Legislature finally reached a deal this week, sending a bill to Dayton's desk Wednesday.

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The measure allows people to choose between a Real ID license and a "non-compliant" license.

At stake is funding for almost all state government programs. If they don't get it done by midnight Sunday, there will have to be a special session. Dayton is a popular second term governor, while GOP lawmakers point to the 2016 election results that saw Republicans take control of the Senate and pick up House seats.

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There is a $1.6 billion surplus on the table and Dayton wants more money for government services.