Viewing the takes of the short press conferences on the budget yesterday I came away with the feeling there is realness and genuineness in the Governor and the GOP Leadership wanting to avoid the midnight deadline.
Governor Dayton is quoted as saying reasons why not to share information about the budget talks, our agreement is "not to discuss in details our discussions really is crucial to build trust necessary--that we can really exchange candid ideas and talk things over."
So if the public cannot get details, and more than likely there is no tape or video camera, the public will never know the meat and potatoes of the meetings. So what is the next best thing. An idea of what is happening.
I am not a writer with experience in dialogue, so that is not the approach I am to take. I will try it this way.
In the Lock-In meetings as they have been characterized, are two sides of different views and approaches, where there is a certainty for them to achieve an agreement to avoid the shutdown. Each side has some control over the other, the Governor who signs the bills, and the Legislature who passes the bills. Either side does not have absolute control over the other.
So the Governor and the Leaders sit in the big conference room on the 5th floor in the State Office Building. They make some discussion about how our choices are real and they will have real consequences if we cannot agree or do not agree to the people of Minnesota. There is an exchange of views on the differences between the two sides.
The Governor and the GOP Legislative Leaders on key elements to funding and policy matters more than likely advocate for their views, to try to change the others views. But another part of the conciliatory meeting is the inquiry part which is to acquaint and familiarize the other side of their views and to bring to light facts.
The effecting and examination of the differences between Governor and the Leaders are the crucial elements if there will be an agreement or not. If the Governor and Leaders do this with trustworthiness there can and will be an agreement. If there is an honest and open exchange as to how they view each others budget and policy proposals this is positive.
Now let's say there is an agreement, there will be discussion as to how to tell the public what they did, but also how to tell the rest of the legislature who will have to vote on it. Will it be a joint announcement or separate? The public can tell a lot by that.
A final take which is a very important one.
Will the public have enough time to view the bills and the agreement without it being shot out of a greased cannon and passed without us knowing what it really does? Will the public be able to review all the documents and data that was used to come to the conclusions of the agreement? How will this be done?
The public has a right to know, the process used to come to an agreement in secret is a fact of political life, but it does not mean the information or how you came to the conclusions are to remain secret after the fact.
Per my previous post I hope both sides can come out as All-Star Wrestlers and us Minnesotans will cheer em both on.