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DFL legislators, Dayton continue budget talks

Posted by: under Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Minnesota state senators Updated: May 7, 2013 - 3:59 PM

Democratic leaders met behind closed doors Tuesday afternoon, but emerged without an agreement on taxes or the budget.

“We’re still talking about the big pieces, things like the school shift,” said Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said as he walked out of his meeting with Gov. Mark Dayton, House Speaker  Paul Thissen and House Majority Leader Erin Murphy.

Those “big pieces” include not just when and how to repay the remaining millions Minnesota borrowed from its schools, but also thorny tax issues. The Senate has proposed $1.8 billion in new revenue, the House tax bill would raise $2.6 billion over the next two years.

“We’re just continuing to make progress and we hope to get someplace,” said Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis. “We’re just talking in very broad terms.”

The school shift is one of the big sticking points right now as the DFL leaders try to hammer out revenue targets. The House tax bill would repay the remaining $854 million balance the state would repay the schools. The Senate does not.

“Everything’s in play,” said Bakk, DFL-Cook, who planned to return to negotiations Tuesday evening. “We’re working on what is a global revenue number we could raise, and under that will fall all the pieces."

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