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Minnesota Legislature

Lawmakers may burn the midnight oil as budget talks continue

Gov. Tim Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan stride past the front doors of the Capitol en route to Tuesday afternoon’s budget negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and others. Photo by Paul Battaglia

As time continues to run out on the 2019 legislative session, House and Senate leaders and Gov. Tim Walz dedicated the better part of Tuesday afternoon to ongoing budget target negotiations. 

Emerging from behind closed doors for a short break after five hours of talks, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) said they had been going through the budget in detail but provided little insight as to how the talks were going.

“We’re working through the budget,” he said. “The fact that we were there that long should say something.”

Walz shared a similarly muted, if not optimistic, response, saying, “We’re still here, and that’s a good thing. Moving along, attempting to get this budget done.”

[WATCH Walz talks to the media following negotiations]

[WATCH Gazelka addresses the media]

The group was expected to reconvene Tuesday night, Walz said, indicating they intend to work until a deal is struck.

“It appears to me that our plan’s to be here all night,” he said. “We’ll let you know if anything comes up.”

Per the constitution, the legislative session must end by May 20.

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