With budget work looming, lawmakers aim for quicker wrap-up

Published 10:39 am Friday, February 3, 2017

ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers are hoping to avoid the last-minute rush to finish a budget this year.

The Legislature is no stranger to deadline pressure. The last days of many sessions are often marked by hurriedly passing final bills just moments before the required adjournment.

Minnesota’s Senate set a rough schedule Thursday that move that process up, and the House is expected to follow suit. It calls for each chamber to finish their budget bills in early April.

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But their plan hinges on successful negotiations with Gov. Mark Dayton. Republican Senate Majority Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says they’ll kick off those negotiations earlier in hopes of avoiding more chaos.

Lawmakers will begin their work on a $40-billion plus budget in March and have until mid-May to finish it.