ST. PAUL -- With just two weeks remaining to sort out broad deals on tax relief, transportation funding and other spending plans, Minnesota's Legislature is locked in a stare down.

Legislative leaders will begin their private discussions to work out a roadmap to bring the session to a tidy end this week. But the major partisan gaps between proposals, combined with one major bill's surprise failure on the Senate floor, have left many top lawmakers with dire hopes.

There are still major gaps between competing transportation plans. Senate Democrats are seeking a gas tax hike, while House Republicans are pushing to use existing taxes while putting more money into tax cuts.

The failure of a major public works proposal in the Senate last week further diminished hopes of a tidy resolution.