Many in Minnesota were excited Thursday to learn that our long state shutdown was coming to an end. Democratic Governor Mark Dayton agreed to take the Republicans’ final budget offer from June 30th, and, with minor modifications, pass that into law. The modifications? No 15 percent across-the-board state employee layoffs, a $500 million bonding bill, and none of the myriad social issues that the GOP placed in their final offer, including a ban on stem-cell research, a 20-week abortion ban, and a ban on using Medicaid funds on abortions.
The Republican leadership agreed to these changes. The Democratic leadership said they would not support a bill that shifted so much money from K-12 education yet again, rather than raise taxes on the richest 7,700 Minnesotans. But Republicans on their own have enough votes, and the budget did not need Democratic support.
Now, however, it may.
Despite saying they could get their caucus behind the vote, the MNGOP is running into resistance from somewhere they didn’t expect: Minnesota Citizens Concerned For Life (MCCL). And now the anti-choice group is pushing hard on Republicans to refuse to pass the previously agreed on budget bill.
Executive Director Scott Fischbach said his group lost everything that it worked for this session. MCCL backed several pieces of legislation that would have banned human cloning, along with taxpayer funding of abortion and family planning groups that provide abortion. Another bill would have banned abortions at 20 weeks gestation and later.
Fishbach says Republican leaders didn’t follow their mandate.
MCCL has now delivered a letter to the Republicans demanding that they not sign the new budget. Will abortion politics shut down the state government again?