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Deadline looms as legislative leaders continue budget talks

Deadline looms as legislative leaders continue budget talks Photo: KSTP/ Ashley Zilka

May 15, 2019 02:28 PM

There's no deal yet, but budget talks continued at the Minnesota Capitol on Wednesday.

Negotiators for Democratic Gov. Tim Walz's office, House Democrats and Senate Republicans held a marathon session that lasted until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. Walz spokesman Teddy Tschann says they reconvened at 10 a.m.

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Walz and legislative leaders are saying little publicly about their budget discussions as they try to complete a deal that would let the legislative session end on time Monday.

Walz told reporters during a break that they're not saying much because the talks are at "a really important time" with "a lot of candid conversation."

Tuesday night, DFL and Republican leaders were still far apart on several major issues. The leaders needed to set fiscal targets to guide the legislature's conference committees, which have made only patchy progress so far on crafting the main budget bills of the session.

Leaders have hit an impasse on Gov. Tim Walz's proposed gas tax and license tab fee increases.

RELATED: Walz, legislative leaders keep trying for budget deal

Lawmakers have until May 20 to strike a deal during the regular legislative session. After that, 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 the state government will shut down.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Rebecca Omastiak

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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