Gov. Mark Dayton told reporters he was disappointed by the latest round of budget talks with House Republicans. Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Gov. Mark Dayton says the latest round of private budget negotiations with House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, took a step backwards.

Dayton, a Democrat, told reporters after talks broke off Friday afternoon that Republicans wouldn’t accept an offer to give up his priority, a plan for universal preschool, in exchange for a $150 million increase in school funding.

The governor said the House GOP now wants the education bill to include their teacher tenure and transgender bathroom policy measures.

Dayton said both the level of funding and policy positions are unacceptable.

“I’m around all weekend. I’m available to meet at any time,” Dayton said. “But I said I would not walk into the room for under $150 million of additional funding. I stated that a week ago and that’s my position. That’s been my position consistently. So until they’re willing to agree to that, we have nothing to talk about.”

House Republicans later shared the two offers, which confirmed Dayton’s description. Their last offer included a $125 million increase in education spending on top of what’s already in the vetoed bill. Republicans also propose a basic formula increase of 2 percent in each of the next two years.

After the day’s talks broke up, Daudt offered a less pessimistic assessment. He said he thought they were getting closer to a deal.

“I’m committed to working every day, as much time as it takes to get this worked out, and I’m hopeful we can,” Daudt said. “But obviously it does take some time, and folks sometime have to retreat to their corners and talk and think. So that’s what we’re going take some time to do tonight.”

Dayton will need to call lawmakers back to St. Paul soon to revisit the three budget bills he vetoed after the regular session ended. In addition to education, he rejected finance bills for environment and economic development. Those three bills must be enacted by July 1 to avoid a partial government shutdown.

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9,451 state workers face layoffs if there’s no budget agreement. (MPR News)

House Speaker Kurt Daudt visited a St. Paul private pre-K program to make his case for early learning scholarships. (The Star Tribune).

Later in the day, Daudt, Gov. Mark Dayton and others met with a variety of early learning experts. But a budget agreement remains elusive.

Daudt, Dayton and others meet again this morning.

The town of Annandale is watching the special session negotiations closely in hopes of getting broadband funding. (MPR News)

When medical marijuana becomes legal in July, it will be available in hospitals. (MPR News)


Another day, another presidential hopeful announces his candidacy. This time, it’s former New York Gov. George Pataki, who is running on the Republican ticket. (NPR via MPR)

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders’ finds his message resonating with voters in his age group. (The New York Times)

Former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been indicted by a federal grand jury for violating banking laws. (The Washington Post)

Thousands of workers across numerous state departments will get layoff notices Monday, state budget officials confirmed Thursday.

The official tally from Minnesota Management and Budget pegs the number at 9,451 people. That’s the number of employees who will be out of a job on July 1, the start of the 2016 fiscal year, if Gov. Mark Dayton and legislators are unable to reach an agreement on three budget bills.

MPR News reported on Wednesday that roughly 10,000 people would get layoff notices on June 1. Here’s the final breakdown:

  • Perpich Center for Arts Education – 115
  • Department of Education – 405
  • Minnesota State Academies (Academy for the Blind, Academy for the Deaf) – 261
  • Department of Agriculture – 489
  • Minnesota Board of Animal Health – 43
  • Department of Natural Resources – 4,294
  • Minnesota Pollution Control Agency – 940
  • Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources – 97
  • Department of Commerce – 351
  • Explore Minnesota Tourism – 57
  • Department of Employment and Economic Development – 1,490
  • Minnesota Public Facilities Authority – 8
  • Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals – 10
  • Department of Labor & Industry – 460
  • Public Utilities Commission – 56
  • Bureau of Mediation Services – 15
  • MN.IT Agency Staff (IT employees that support the agencies listed above) – 360

Total employees – 9,451