Long Talks In Private, Silence In Public Feed Budget Hopes
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota's legislative leaders are pointing to incremental progress in setting a new $40 billion-plus state budget, but they're keeping mostly quiet about what that looks like.
For a third straight day, the leaders retreated to Gov. Mark Dayton's official residence Wednesday to decide how much of a $1.9 billion projected surplus to direct to schools, health care, tax relief and other programs the state supplies.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says negotiating progress is being made in every budget category but said there was still a ways to go to a deal. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt concurred without sharing details.
Even if top officials agree to a broad budget framework soon, the Legislature will face a time crunch to approve budget bills by Monday's adjournment deadline.