(UPDATED) Talks Continue to Iron Out Budget Bills

A GOP leader said "very good progress" was made toward approving the bills and ending the shutdown.

(Update) 8:20 p.m. Gov. Mark Dayton, House Speaker Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch (R-Buffalo) report reaching “considerable progress” during weekend budget negotiations. The parties struck a positive tone with their joint statement, released at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday.  

MPR News reported on Sunday evening that a handshake deal has been reached on an $11 billion Health and Human Services bill. But despite any supposed progress—and contrary to Dayton’s intent—the governor won’t call a special session on Monday morning.  

“Work on the detailed budget bills continues to move in a positive direction, with an urgent focus on getting Minnesotans back to work,” the joint statement read. “A special session will be called as soon as our work is completed, and all bills have been reviewed and agreed upon.”

11:28 a.m. — Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders remained locked in negotiations Saturday after they failed to meet a 10 p.m. Friday deadline for having all budget bills in place.

The biggest sticking points remain the bills on Health and Human Services, K-12 education and state government.   

Despite the complexity of those three bills, Taxes Committee Chair Sen. Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen) said Saturday’s talks made “very good progress” compared to those on Friday.

After a short break in the afternoon, the Taxes Committee reconvened at 5 p.m.

The aim, Rep. Linda Runbeck (R-Circle Pines) said, was to present a finished bill to the governor as quickly as possible.

“We’re making progress. It’s all down to small details,” Runbeck said before returning to the negotiations.  

Capital Investment Committee Chair David Senjem also reported progress on the $500 million bonding package, which was a condition of the governor’s acceptance of the GOP budget July 14.

“We are 80 to 90 percent of the way there,” Senjem told reporters.  
Legislative leaders gave no indication of how long they would meet tonight.

Dayton has maintained all along that he will only call a special session once negotiations are finished and he approves the bills. The shutdown will end once the bills are signed.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »