ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Latest on efforts to reach a budget deal at the Minnesota Capitol (all times local):
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 honourable.”
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.
The Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate is prepared to pass a measure to prevent a state government shutdown if legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz can’t agree on a budget deal.
Senate Republicans launched the gambit Thursday evening as talks bogged down among the governor and leaders of the Senate GOP and House Democratic majorities. Senate Finance Committee Chair Julie Rosen said the talks were at “somewhat of an impasse.”
It appears increasingly unlikely that lawmakers can pass their major budget bills before Monday night’s adjournment deadline, which means the governor would have to call a special session at some point to finish the work.
Sen. Roger Chamberlain describes his “lights on” bill as an insurance policy for when the current budget runs out June 30.
Senate Democrats say it’s premature.