Minnesota governor, legislative leaders step in to clear budget deadlocks

Gov. Tim Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, D-Brooklyn Park, and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-East Gull Lake, said they would meet with legislative working group leaders and commissioners in closed meetings starting Thursday to excise provisions that had spurred partisan divisions.

And they remained hopeful that they could work through the weekend to have bills ready to pass in a Monday, June 14, special session.

Lawmakers closed out the 2021 regular legislative session last month without a two-year budget plan and now they face a June 30 deadline to approve one or face a state government shutdown. They’ll return to St. Paul Monday to consider extending the state’s peacetime emergency for COVID-19 and while they’re at the Capitol, they’re expected to begin approving pieces of the $52 billion budget.

“We’re going to sit down today, we’re going to work with folks on the sticking points that they have in each of these bills, we’re going to try to find compromises, as a democracy demands and get it done,” Walz told reporters at the Capitol on Thursday. “We’ll try to see if there are compromises to deconflict some of those things and bring in a budget.”

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