Budget details still being negotiated

Governor Dayton and the Republican controlled Legislature are still working on the specifics of a budget deal they reached earlier this week. Dayton and GOP leaders are working with committee chairs and commissioners to hash out the details of nine different budget bills. The two sides reached agreement on a budget framework earlier this week; now they have to turn that into legislation. They already missed a self-imposed Friday night deadline to complete their work.

Committee chairs have been tight lipped about the details. The meetings are being held in private and the public is locked out of the Capitol. At stake is billions of dollars of spending for schools, health care and aid to cities and counties.

GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch says lawmakers are making good progress on the bills. She said the details will be made available once the legislation is drafted into bill form. But Koch said the specifics shouldn’t surprise anyone.

“We’re not allowing new things into the discussion,” Koch said. “We use the analogy that we’re baking a cake. All of the ingredients have been on the table and been discussed for months. A lot of them have been taking bills that have been posted and vetted and we’re working them into these bills.”

The governor says he will call a special session once he’s had a chance to read the bills and ensure they follow the agreement he reached on Thursday with GOP leaders. The government shutdown will end when Dayton signs the bills.