by T.W. Budig,
ECM Capitol reporter
A courtly disconnect currently exists at the State Capitol, and it might be wondered how long this Age of Chivalry will last.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton just recently made a heraldic gesture of sort toward the Republican-controlled Minnesota Legislature on his proposed bonding bill, offering to let Republican leaders essentially fill-in the blanks on half of the proposed $1 billion bill.
Immediately after being sworn into office, Dayton made courtesy calls on House and Senate Republican leaders. The governor, with one exception, has refused to darken the prospects of proposed Republican legislation by branding his veto sword.
The governor, at the behest of Republican leaders, postponed signing an important executive order as not to step on opening day festivities for incoming freshmen lawmakers.
Lets opponents take the podium
Perhaps most chivalrously, Dayton stepped aside at the signing ceremony of the health care executive order to let opponents take the podium to castigate the early Medicaid enrollment, and by extension, the man who signed the paperwork.
But Republicans, too, have displayed elemental courtesy.
Dayton left an early meeting with Senate Republican leaders with a colorful box of M & Ms in hand, a gift Republicans bestowed on him.
Republicans often speak about working with the governor, seeking solutions, finding nooks and crannies of compromise.
It will be something of a surprise if after the Dayton’s upcoming State of the State address Republicans say anything that might cause someone to seek the worldly relief of the cloister.
No, courtliness will likely rule the day.
But ultimately, jousting will begin, the big war horses charges. And there promises to be a big crash, because Dayton the Republican-controlled Legislature will be charging from a distance.
That’s because, save an exception here and there, on virtually every big issue, virtually everything that has happened yet this session, there’s no agreement.
No agreement on a lot of things
And on a lot of things they’re not even close. There’s no agreement on taxation. There’s no agreement on how best to approach the ailing state budget. There’s no agreement on a bonding bill.
There’s maybe no agreement on lifting the nuclear power plant construction ban, on Photo ID for voting, or for perhaps even teacher alternative licensure.
Although the governor obligingly delayed signing his health care executive order, Republicans make no secret of their disdain for so-called “ObamaCare” and suggest anticipated federal health care funding will dry-up as assuredly as a lawn it’s Merlin’s turn to mow.
But for now pennants flutter from the Capitol, no one is digging a moat, and besides the No. 4 on the lunch menu at the cafeteria there’s a picture of a suckling pig, say certain sources.
It almost seems like a vision.
And in a sense, it is.