ST. PAUL  (AP) — The top Senate Republican says the Minnesota Legislature likely won't vote this year on a bill to lift a ban on new nuclear power plants.

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch told reporters Thursday that the bill is "on pause" after passing both chambers in February.

The bill stalled in a House-Senate negotiating committee when Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton insisted on several provisions that GOP lawmakers were unwilling to include. The nuclear crisis in Japan also didn't help its prospects.

Koch is the bill's chief Senate sponsor.

She says she is more focused on budget bills with less than three weeks left before a mandatory adjournment deadline.

Minnesota has barred construction of new nuclear facilities since 1994. Two nuclear power plants operate in the state, near Red Wing and Monticello.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.