EAGAN, Minn. - As Senator Ted Daley, a Republican, hustled up Yankee Doodle Road in the lineup for Eagan’s Fourth of July parade, some of his constituents wondered loudly why he wasn’t at the state Capitol 10 miles to the north trying to end the state government shutdown that was in its fourth day.
“Go get your job done!’’ shouted Bill Egan, a 52-year-old salesman who said he is disgusted by the standoff between Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat, and the Republicans who control the Legislature.
They have been at odds over the state budget since they were sworn in early this year.
Republicans want to limit state spending to $34 billion, the amount the state is expected to bring in over the next two years, while Dayton wants to raise income taxes on the state’s top earners to provide $1.8 billion more to keep up with growing demand for state services and prevent cuts to social programs and public colleges.
With neither side willing to budge, talks broke down Thursday night hours before the government shutdown. Dayton urged lawmakers to spend the holiday weekend in their districts, listening to the people they represent.
“I just want to see compromise,’’ said Egan, a Democratic-leaning independent who voted for Daley last year “because he goes to my church.’’ Watching the state’s second government shutdown in six years, Egan said he’s tired of politicians failing to compromise.
Daley, a 45-year-old accountant, West Point graduate, and Desert Storm veteran, said he ran for office because he believes growth in the state’s spending on health and human services isn’t sustainable.
“When I talk to business owners in my district, they tell me they’ve cut their budgets 5 percent, 10 percent in the last two years,’’ Daley said. “We have to get it under control.’’
As he strode the parade route, Daley heard criticism and praise. When he rounded a corner, one older man shouted “Get back to work, Daley!’’ but a second later, another man hollered, “Good job, Ted!’’