Minnesota Legislature faces tough budget talks in week ahead | KSTP.com

Minnesota Legislature faces tough budget talks in week ahead

Updated: May 10, 2021 07:22 PM
Created: May 10, 2021 05:51 AM

With one week left in the legislative session, state lawmakers are working to come to an agreement on some major items, including the budget for the next two years.

Lawmakers have a week to determine solutions or they will head into a special session.

Negotiations could be contentious, with Republicans targeting Gov. Tim Walz's emergency powers.

"We're going to keep Minnesota open, that's been our goal the whole time, our goal is to end emergency powers as we get stuff wrapped up and I think we'll be able to do that so stay tuned," Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said.

Walz has said science has always guided his decisions for Minnesota's COVID-19 response. However, Republicans argue he's not lifting restrictions fast enough.

Meanwhile, budget negotiations involve 12 bills ranging from taxes to education to police reform.

The governor and DFLers want tax increases for wealthier Minnesotans for education and other programs but Republicans say they will not raise taxes on anyone.

When it comes to police reform, the DFL is calling for more police training, and restrictions on when officers can make certain traffic stops.

Republicans say law enforcement and crime victims need to be involved in those discussions. That also includes whether they'll pass any major police accountability legislation, or raise taxes.

Senate Minority Leader Susan Kent said giving up the governor's emergency powers in order to reach a budget agreement could have financial impacts on the state. 

Lawmakers have until next Monday to reach an agreement on these issues. 

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