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Gap on budget between Dayton, lawmakers persists

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republican lawmakers are still split over taxes and spending after a breakfast meeting failed to resolve their differences.

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and House Speaker Kurt Zellers said Tuesday they expect negotiations to start immediately between Dayton’s top advisers and House-Senate budget panels.

But Dayton says he won’t consider signing pieces of the budget without an overall agreement.

The GOP leaders also invited Dayton to speak directly to their caucuses. That meeting hasn’t been scheduled yet.

Republicans who control the Legislature want to erase a $5 billion deficit through spending cuts alone. The first-term governor is seeking to raise $1.8 billion from a new top income tax bracket and smattering of smaller taxes.

Six days remain before the Legislature must adjourn.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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