Lawmakers have 5 weeks to reach budget deal with Gov. Dayton

Published 8:36 am Thursday, April 20, 2017

By Tim Pugmire

MPR News/90.1 FM

Spring break is over for Minnesota lawmakers.

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They returned to the Capitol Tuesday with a lot of budget work ahead of them in the remaining weeks of the 2017 session.

It won’t be easy.

Gov. Mark Dayton welcomed them back with a warning against “end-of-session gamesmanship.” In a letter to GOP leaders, Dayton restated his opposition to cuts to state services when there’s a budget surplus of more than $1.5 billion. He also emphasized that House and Senate negotiators need to agree on the budget bills before he joins in.

“I’ve already set forth my position with my budget proposal and various policy proposals. So, then we’ll have something to negotiate. But I’m not going to negotiate with them before they’ve negotiated between themselves,” Dayton said during an interview on WCCO Radio.