Capitol building in St. Paul


No budget deal for state lawmakers; talks resume at capitol

Less than a week until the legislative session ends

May 14, 2019 - 5:31 am

Time is starting to run out for Minnesota lawmakers trying to reach a compromise on a two-year budget expected to exceed $45 billion.

Negotiations resumed Tuesday morning at the governor's personal office in the capitol building.

On Monday, Governor Walz and state House and Senate leaders exchanged proposals back and forth for several hours, with each side giving a little. 

Senate Republicans are holding their ground when it comes to raising taxes because they feel there is already enough money to fund the budget

"We have a $1 billion of surplus," said Senate GOP leader Paul Gazelka. "In November alone, we took another $491 million. Because of the bills that were vetoed last year, that money was available. But that went into reserves, so that's another pot of money that we think we should be looking at."

That concept incensing Democrats, who say there is not enough money to fund the crucial services and items in the budget that both sides agree need to be funded. 

"They have to be reasonable legislators, they have to be responsible, the need is there," said Walz, who's pushing for a gas tax to rebuild the state's crumbling infrastructure. "This isn't something we made up, this isn't for an amusement park on the edge of my house, or something. This is roads across Minnesota."

Democrats also want to continue the health care provider tax.

Minnesota's legislative session ends on May 20th.

If there is no budget agreement, the governor can call lawmakers back into a special session to finalize any remaining work.

They must have a deal by June 30, the final day of the fiscal year, or state government will shut down.

WCCO political analyst Blois Olson on the Morning News said there could be an all-night negotiating session starting late Tuesday in an effort to reach a consensus by Wednesday night.



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