Hunt for Minnesota state budget agreement heats up
May 10, 2013 — 7:19pm
Top DFL lawmakers and DFL Gov. Mark Dayton have been huddling in the governor's office in recent days, searching for an end-of-session compromise.
They met late Thursday and started up again Friday morning. After a break in the mid-afternoon, they may pick the high-level talks up again shortly.
The leaders, including House Speaker Paul Thissen, House Majority Leader Erin Murphy and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, are working toward a budget plan that will meld lawmakers' taxing and spending priorities with the governor's.
Although joint House-Senate budget panels have spent long hours working through their differences, they cannot close up their work until there is agreement at the highest levels on basic budgeting levels.
The 2013 session of the Legislature is due to end on May 20.
Minnesota senators sharply questioned federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch during Wednesday's Supreme Court confirmation hearings, grilling him on whether he'd be protect the interests of ordinary people over corporations.
Other business groups like realtors, electric utility Xcel Energy Services, private colleges, tobacco giant Altria, Polymet Mining, health insurers and hospitals contributed to the overall total of $57.7 million to lobby the Legislature, the administration of Gov. Mark Dayton and Metro municipal governments.