With days to go, Minnesota budget talks hit a stalemate

With days to go, Minnesota budget talks hit a stalemate

With days to go, Minnesota budget talks hit a stalemate

Republicans also said Friday that they planned to pull perhaps the most controversial policy proposal of the session, a ban on local governments setting their own wage and workplace standards, into the broader budget debate by attaching it to one of their spending bills.

Separate from their divides with Dayton, it will be a crunch for lawmakers to pass a new set of budget bills in both chambers before Monday night's mandatory adjournment. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, balked at the idea but said he would hear out Gazelka.

The GOP-controlled Legislature has passed 10 budget bills, which Democrat Dayton vetoed.

He said GOP leaders have talked from the beginning of the session about sending bills to Dayton that he would be expected to veto. The two sides traded budget offers throughout the week, starting to narrow a sizable gap between their proposals while expressing hope they could wrap up a deal in time. That provision, which both sides support, would help offset infrastructure costs for new building projects whenever a rural school district proposed a levy referendum. The governor and legislators were meeting Thursday morning to try to break the impasse.

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Daudt said during a press conference Friday afternoon that a bonding bill is "certainly on the table". "We've reached that point where we have to start that process". Even with concessions, Republicans still spend more on tax cuts and less on state government than Dayton wants.

How much should the state send to public schools or specifically devote to expanding a preschool program, a top Dayton priority? It's a repeat of an earlier maneuver when they sent Dayton budget bills that were promptly vetoed.

The mayors said they depend on LGA to provide basic services from public safety to libraries. They have left $86 million unspent in their targets to accommodate ongoing negotiations.

"There are so many we are close on, but we are not quite there with the governor", Gazelka said. "In fact, it's the opposite".

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"Our end goal is to have bills that the governor can sign, that the people of Minnesota will look at and say this is really good for Minnesota", Gazelka said. But hundreds of Republican policy provisions could be major obstacles.

State leaders are feeling pressure to pass budget bills covering roughly $46 billion over the next two years within the next few days. Like Duluth and other communities, she said, Bemidji serves a much larger population than lives in the city itself.

But the Legislature finally reached a deal this week, sending a bill to Dayton's desk Wednesday. But an agreement must be struck by June 30, the final day of the fiscal year, or state government heads into automatic shutdown.

That means these budgets could be vetoed just like the last one.

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