Minnesota legislators miss Friday goal for budget numbers

Published 6:25 pm Friday, May 28, 2021

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MINNEAPOLIS— Lawmakers are still negotiating Minnesota’s next two-year budget and won’t meet the goal of Friday set by their leaders for agreeing on the final numbers that will go into the big spending bills that lawmakers must pass in the coming weeks.

But Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman said negotiators are still “driving as hard as we can” to get everything ready to pass in a special session June 14, which they hope to hold to one day.

Hortman said the working groups negotiating the commerce and energy budgets had turned in their spreadsheets by Friday afternoon. She said negotiators were also close on figures for the higher education funding and tax bills.

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The speaker said negotiators were farther apart on the health and human services budget, as well as the preschool-through-12th-grade education funding bill, and the public safety and transportation budget budgets.

Hortman also said teams have begun work on a public works borrowing package known as a bonding bill after a good meeting Friday with leaders of the minority caucuses, whose support is needed to reach the 60% majority required in each chamber.

Leaders had set a goal of Friday, June 4, for final bill language for all the spending packages. Hortman said some but probably not all will be ready by then, but she expects hearings the week of June 7.