Budget talks continue, focusing on HHS


Legislative leaders met with Gov. Mark Dayton again this morning and said budget talks are moving forward, but would not say how close they are to a possible deal.

In a press conference, Dayton said today’s negotiations are focused on health and human services spending. He met with legislative leaders this morning at 9 a.m., and said committee chairs were scheduled to meet with executive-branch staff to discuss the issue at 11:30 a.m. He did not discuss details.

“We had a constructive meeting. We still have our differences,” Dayton said.

Lawmakers and Dayton are negotiating an agreement to enact a new state budget and erase a projected $5 billion shortfall. If they do not act by Friday, most state government functions will be forced to shut down.

“Things are still moving ahead. That’s good news,” said House Majority Leader Matt Dean (R-Dellwood).

Dayton and lawmakers are scheduled to meet again at 2 p.m., but will break later in the day to attend memorial services for the late Sen. Linda Scheid (DFL-Brooklyn Park), who died of cancer June 15. More talks are possible later this evening, according to Sen. Geoff Michel (R-Edina).