GOP leader wants multi-level budget discussions

Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, R-Buffalo, said today that she expects to schedule a meeting later this week with Gov. Mark Dayton to discuss the state budget impasse.

The House and Senate adjourned a week ago without reaching a final agreement to erase a projected $5 billion budget deficit. Lawmakers will now have to return for a special session and pass a two-year budget before July 1 to avoid a government shutdown.

In addition to talks with the governor, Koch said she expects committee chairs to meet with Dayton commissioners to talk about specific spending areas. She also expects the Legislative Commission on Planning and Fiscal Policy to start meeting soon to take up budget issues.

“That could be a nice way to vet information and have some public hearings and continue discussion on the budget,” Koch said. “It has a broad, sweeping scope.”

Koch and other members of a Senate subcommittee met today to appoint nine new members to the commission, including six Republicans and three Democrats.