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Two weeks to go for Legislature

The Minnesota Legislature has about two weeks left in its current session. The DFL-controlled House and Republican-controlled Senate have been looking for compromises to reconcile their budget proposals.

Will they be able to bridge the gap in time? If recent history is any indication, no, they won’t and we’ll be heading for a special session.

The difference is about a billion dollars between Gov. Tim Walz’s $53 billion revised budget proposal and the Senate Republicans’ counter proposal at $51.9 billion. That’s not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but there is a lot of disagreement about where the money should go and how it should be raised.

The state needs a balanced budget in order to operate. If the Legislature can’t agree by the end of the session on May 17, the governor will have to call a special session, the two sides will negotiate furiously for a couple of weeks, and eventually the budget will be passed before the end of the fiscal year.

In the meantime, the two sides are passing bills that will be unlikely to become law, like the Senate’s voter ID bill that will not make it through the House or past the governor, and the various iterations of police reform that will be unlikely to be joined into one.

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