Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders remained tight-lipped Thursday as they again gathered in the State Capitol in an effort to hammer out a two-year budget deal.
Talks between the governor, House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park), Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) and others got back underway at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday and ended before sunset. Negotiations stretched until 1 a.m. the night before.
House DFLers, Senate Republicans and Walz must reach a deal on the budget — and get that deal passed by both bodies — before midnight May 20 in order to avoid an increasingly common special session.
The two sides appeared far apart on several key issues earlier in the week — including Walz’s and the DFL’s commitment to a 20-cent increase in the state’s gas tax to fund a growing backlog of needed road and bridge maintenance. Republicans have said that, with a projected $1 billion surplus, tax increases are unnecessary.
Check back to Session Daily for continuing coverage of the final days of the 2019 session.