Experienced observers say chances of deadlock at the Minnesota Legislature are actually greater when there’s a large budget surplus — as we have now — than when there’s a deficit.  Hamline University analyst David Schultz says, with so much extra money available and Republicans and Democrats so divided on how to use it…

“I could see a scenario of overtime or, what?  They don’t accomplish anything and they end the session in May without figuring out what to do.”

Schultz says one positive is that there’s no danger of government shutdown because the two-year budget was already set during the last legislative session earlier this year.  But high-stakes in an election year could harden Democrats’ and Republicans’ positions on hot-button issues, making compromise all the more difficult.