Little Progress Made Wednesday Toward Averting Budget Showdown

Little Progress Made Wednesday Toward Averting Budget Showdown Photo: KSTP/File

May 09, 2017 06:06 PM

Republican leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton emerged from budget talks Wednesday afternoon without making much progress toward averting a budget showdown.

"Our offers don't look much like each other," said House Speaker Kurt Daudt.

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The drama to pass a two-year budget got into full-swing Tuesday as Republicans suggested they may back away from the negotiating table and simply send their own budget bills to Dayton. The two sides have been meeting privately for a week but made little headway in narrowing major differences.

GOP leaders offered Tuesday afternoon to slim down their tax cut package to $1 billion while also boosting overall government spending. Dayton had previously made several proposals that Daudt called "microsteps" toward a deal.

Dayton had outlined a roughly $46 billion package, while Republicans had assembled nearly $45 billion in spending with more than $1 billion in tax cuts.

Dayton was expected to weigh the offer and respond later Tuesday. 

Dayton criticized Republican leaders for moving forward on several budget bills without reaching broad agreement with him on an overall deal. 

The Democratic governor says Republicans are doubling down on their original bills without compromising.

Rep. Greg Davids, the Republican who chairs the House Tax Committee, says if Dayton doesn't sign the House bill, "a lot of Minnesotans will lose." But House Speaker Kurt Daudt says there's still time for things to come together.

One key difference is tax relief. Republicans want roughly $1.1 billion in cuts, while Dayton has proposed $300 million.

The Legislature is now on a collision course with just two weeks remaining in session. Dayton has criticized the GOP budget as too slim and suggested he may veto several bills. 

The Legislature has until May 23 to wrap up its work.

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Associated Press

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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