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Budget talks continue at Minnesota Capitol

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman, D-Brooklyn Park, said they would start pressing committees to jettison divisive provisions of budget bills later in the week if members can't reach an agreement.

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The facade of the Minnesota State Capitol Building in St. Paul. Photo illustration, Shutterstock, Inc.
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ST. PAUL — Lawmakers on Tuesday, June 15, entered the second day of a special legislative session aimed at passing a $52 billion state budget. A few committees met Tuesday morning to take up omnibus spending bills focused on higher education and commerce and energy.

Legislative leaders on Monday said they expect the bills could come up for a vote later in the week. And they said they were hopeful that lawmakers could approve all 14 state budget bills within seven to 10 days.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman, D-Brooklyn Park, said they would start pressing committees to jettison divisive provisions of budget bills later in the week if members can't reach an agreement.

“If there are things that are not yet done they go overboard,” Gazelka said. “You see all these last dominoes starting to fall. Everybody knows that we’ve got to get done."

MORE FROM ST. PAUL: Landlords sue Minnesota governor over eviction moratorium The groups said the executive order violated the constitutional rights of landlords and tenants. Lawmakers are working on an off-ramp for the moratorium.
And while Gazelka on Monday filed a proposal to continue funding state agencies at current levels if lawmakers can't agree to a budget bill by June 30, the leaders said it's unlikely that they would need the fall-back. Hortman likened the bill to an emergency tool to break a car window she keeps in her car in the event that it gets submerged in water.

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“It’s good to have it but I don’t think we’re gonna need it,” Hortman said.

Follow Dana Ferguson on Twitter @bydanaferguson , call 651-290-0707 or email dferguson@forumcomm.com

Dana Ferguson is a Minnesota Capitol Correspondent for Forum News Service. Ferguson has covered state government and political stories since she joined the news service in 2018, reporting on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the divided Statehouse and the 2020 election.
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