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House, Senate agree to budget targets — now seek common ground with governor
By Ricky Campbell
House Speaker Kurt Daudt discusses details of the House/Senate joint budget targets during an April 28 news conference. Also pictured are, from left, House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, Sen. Julie Rosen, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Rep. Jim Knoblach. Photo by Paul Battaglia

The House and Senate Republican leaders on Friday unveiled their realigned budget targets as the clock ticks toward a May 22 constitutional deadline for completing legislative work.

Calling the numbers the halfway point between what leaders from each chamber wanted, Republicans said the joint $45.95 billion spending plan includes $1.15 billion in tax collection reductions and a $187 million spending reduction to government agencies, economic development funds and environmental programs.

The plan also includes spending $13.82 billion in health and human services — $2.05 billion above current levels — and a $1.14 billion increase in education spending.

The budget targets give a hard guideline to co-chairs of conference committees currently working to finalize spending bills. Both House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) said committee leaders have until the end of Monday to work out differences in their proposed legislation and get a report to Gov. Mark Dayton for review by Thursday.

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Week in Review: April 24-28
By HPIS Staff

A week heavy on conference committees continuing to work through differences between House and Senate bills ended with an announcement from legislative leaders that they want th...

Less than $1 million in total funding separates House, Senate Legacy bills
By Jonathan Mohr

Members of the omnibus legacy conference committee learned Thursday they won’t have a large funding gap to bridge as nonpartisan staff walked them through a side-by-side overview of the respective House and Senate bills during the group’s first meeting.

House tries again to rein in ‘drive-by’ disability-rights lawsuits
By Chris Steller

The House has taken another stab at stopping so-called “drive-by lawsuits” filed under statutes meant to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Rep. Dennis Smith (R...

House acts to freeze property owners’ ‘duty of care’ to trespassers
By Chris Steller

The proposed statute would lock current restrictions on lawsuits in statutory and common law into place.

House wants children in foster care to know their rights
By Chris Steller

Those as young as age 10 who don’t waive their rights would get free legal representation.

House hems in condo-owner litigation over construction defects
By Chris Steller

Condominium associations and similar organizations would have to clear a higher bar before they file lawsuits over construction defects. The House passed HF1538, sponsored b...

House votes to allow cancellation of condo purchases via email
By Chris Steller

You could use any agreed upon form of electronic communication to call off buying a condominium or a unit in a cooperative, under a bill was passed by the House 131-0 Thursday.

Tax provision making ‘zapper’ use a felony passes House
By Lee Ann Schutz

Department of Revenue seeks minor changes to tax law, but pushes for sales suppression use to be a felony. The maximum punishment for the felony conviction would be up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine.

Changes to MnDOT land conveyance process pass the House
By Jonathan Avise

HF859 would amend how MnDOT can sell excess trunk highway land and would turn portions of some state highways back to a pair of Greater Minnesota counties.

Governor, legislative leaders remain at budget impasse
By Jonathan Mohr

Gov. Mark Dayton said Wednesday that legislators must reconcile differences in major House and Senate omnibus bills before final negotiations with him can begin, while House Rep...

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Priority Dailies

'Inefficient and efficient at the same time': It’s conference committee season
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Lawmakers on conference committees must sort through competing bills before finalizing a product to send to the governor.

Omnibus bills provide framework for the state's biennial budget plan
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