Transportation Debate in Focus as Budget Negotiations Begin
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - It's deal-making time at the Minnesota Legislature.
Legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton met Monday start negotiations over how to handle the state's $900 million budget surplus. They'll need to find a compromise between vastly different tax and transportation funding proposals in the House and Senate.
The top politicians agreed to tackle a transportation package first. House Speaker Kurt Daudt says that will help determine how much money lawmakers have left over to dole out between tax cuts and other spending priorities.
And time is ticking. They have just two weeks to find a deal or call it dead.
Pressure isn't as high as last year, when budget talks spilled into an overtime session. The Legislature could leave the money unspent as no bills need to be passed this year.