At Issue: May 12 - Budget Talks Resume Sunday; Vice President Visits Minnesota

May 12, 2019 06:25 PM

Budget Talks to Resume Sunday with One Week Left in Legislative Session

After taking several days off for the fishing opener, budget talks are set to pick up again Sunday evening at the State Capitol. The negotiations have been rocky from the start with Governor Walz and key legislative leaders missing a self-imposed deadline last Monday to set joint budget targets. The 2019 legislative session ends May 20, so there is not much time for lawmakers to come up with a two-year budget agreement if they want to avoid a special session.


Both sides remain far apart on two key issues - whether or not to raise the gas tax by as much as 20 cents per gallon and whether or not to keep the health care provider tax in place. Governor Walz and House Democrats have reduced their spending proposals in the past few days, but they say Senate Republicans have not made any meaningful counter offers. 

Vice President Mike Pence Promotes Trade Deal During Minnesota Visit

Vice President Mike Pence visited Minnesota this week to seek support for trade deals the Trump administration says will help farmers and steel companies. In the midst of negotiations and higher tariffs placed on Chinese imports, Pence says the White House believes fears of a trade war will eventually give way to a stronger economy. 

Pence visited a farm in Glyndon, near Fargo, to start his visit to Minnesota on Thursday. He also spoke to employees at Gerdau Steel Mill in St. Paul. 

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Amanda Theisen

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