Senate leader: Budget deal 'not too far off'

May 17, 2019 10:08 PM

The Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate is holding off on passing a measure to prevent a state government shutdown if legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz can't agree on a budget deal.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka told reporters as he left the governor's office Friday afternoon he believes the sides are "not too far off" from an agreement and that "there's an opportunity" to end the session on time Monday.


Gazelka said he couldn't disclose the sticking points because the negotiations are too sensitive. But he says the talks have been "professional and honorable."

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk, who has spoken with Walz but isn't part of the talks, says he thinks it's possible to finish on Monday if the top leaders reach an agreement Friday night.

Walz canceled his appearance on the public television program Almanac Friday evening to continue negotiations.

A spokesperson for the governor said in a statement, "Governor Walz is focused on meeting with both Republicans and Democrats in the state legislature to find a compromise that improves the lives of all Minnesotans."

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