Minn. GOP leaders want final budget talks to startby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — After passing a series of budget bills, Republicans in the Minnesota Senate say they now want to start negotiating with the House and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton on a final agreement.
Senate GOP leaders held a news conference Thursday to declare success in delivering a two-year budget plan that doesn't raise taxes.
Dayton's budget plan relies heavily on an income tax increase for top earners to erase a projected $5 billion deficit and avoid deep spending cuts.
Republicans still aren't budging on the tax issue, but Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch of Buffalo said she thinks there are areas of potential agreement in several bills.
DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook said he doesn't think Dayton will sign any of the finance bills until GOP leaders remove most of the contentious policy provisions.