(The Center Square) – Minnesota lawmakers blew past a Sunday midnight deadline in an effort to piece together a budget.
The GOP and DFL previously struck a broad deal of $4 billion in spending for $4 billion in tax relief and $4 billion in savings, but the broad agreement didn’t range every bill.
With just 60 hours to go on Friday, lawmakers deadlocked over three of the biggest bills – public safety, E-12 education, and health and human services.
Without a special session, the government will keep a record $9.2 billion surplus of taxpayer money.
Each side blames the other.
“We have been negotiating in good faith to try to reach agreement on issues we’ve been hearing about from Minnesotans. We’ve had offers on the table that would have made people proud and made a difference for people across the state,” Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, said in a statement.
“The bipartisan tax agreement included a full repeal of Social Security taxes, an income tax reduction, and property tax relief for middle-class Minnesotans. Not only did Democrats prevent the tax bill from getting done; they ran out the clock on other important policy initiatives.”
The deals that left unfinished include public safety, E-12 education, long-term care funding, tax relief, funds for long-term care facilities, and more.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, said they need more time.
“All session, House DFLers have been focused on reducing costs for families, supporting workers, investing in our students, and improving public safety,” Hortman said in a statement. “We’ve worked with Republicans in good faith to find as many agreements as possible because Minnesotans expect us to work together, deliver results, and build a better future for everyone. We are nearing agreements on $4 billion in investments to address the challenges Minnesotans are facing, and we will need a little more time to complete our work.”
Gov. Tim Walz and other DFL members want to call a special session, but first want agreement between the parties to avoid wasting more time and taxpayer money.