ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Minnesota's legislative leaders plan to start
negotiations on a couple of less controversial budget bills before tackling some
of the session's larger debates over health care and taxes.

GOP Senate leaders said they will start talks Thursday with Democratic Gov.
Mark Dayton on the state's higher education and agriculture bills. Republican
leaders say they are looking to negotiate early with the governor to avoid

Speaker Kurt Daudt said leaders still need to come up with an overarching plan
for negotiations to finish in time.

Lawmakers and the governor have just over two weeks to compromise on a number
of key issues. Environmental protections, early childhood education and tax cuts
are slated for tougher negotiations later in the month.