As the state’s budget showdown drags towards a shutdown on July 1st, settlement strategies come and go. The latest is the leader lockdown – Governor Dayton, House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch will engage in some marathon sessions Friday and Saturday to try to shape an agreement.
According to a report by Tim Pugmire of MPR:
Zellers said they will lock themselves in a room and won’t leave until they have at least some consensus or a framework that they can then take back to their legislative members and the governor can be comfortable with.
“But the point being that without the three of us in a room talking about these bills in great detail and coming to agreement between the three of us, it’s going to be awfully difficult for all of us to come to agreement,” Zellers said.
This is necessary at the very least so all parties will be able to say “we really tried” while pointing fingers after July 1.
But one wonders how “in” they will be “locked”?
Perhaps they could follow the model of the Mars 500 mission. But the experience so far seems to bring this warning: Those who are locked in a room begin to get used to being locked in a room.
It has now been more than one year since six men were shut inside a space ship-like enclosure in a Moscow suburb, agreeing to mimic conditions on a trip to Mars and back. They have endured mock emergencies including a loss of power and a week without communications with the outside world. They have simulated a Mars landing and walkabout, and are now on their way “back”, with a planned arrival “home” in early November.
They have their routines, which they follow every day without fail (weekends included). One Marstronaut said his greatest regret is that he misses “the randomness of the world”. So far it seems the greatest threat to the well-being of these men is the dreaded fun-sucking monster, monotony.
One of the mission co-ordinators said “one thing that they’re using to break the monotony … is creativity. For Halloween they dressed themselves up with scientific equipment. For Christmas they came up with their own self-made nativity scene. And they also celebrated the Chinese New Year.”
Perhaps Minnesota’s combatants could resolve to stay in the Governor’s reception room until a settlement occurs, and if they’re still in there on the Fourth of July, they could break the monotony of their own immobility and form a bond by improvising an appropriate holiday celebration with the materials at hand.
Better make sure nobody has matches when they go in.
How do you handle a deadline?