Legislative leaders, several Dayton administration commissioners and other key lawmakers were back in private negotiations Sunday as they shoot for a deal on the two-year state budget.
House Speaker Kurt Daudt was hosting the Sunday talks at his Capitol office, joined by the other top legislative negotiator, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. Along with Gov. Mark Dayton, the two had a respite from politics a day earlier, fishing together for several hours on Lake Vermilion Saturday as part of the Governor's annual fishing opener.
"We were honestly so busy catching fish we didn't really have time to visit," Bakk, DFL-Cook, said Sunday. Between them, the three men caught 35 walleye.
Back in St. Paul on Sunday, the negotiators planned to discuss health and human services funding.
"That's where you'll find the biggest differences between where they are and we are," said Daudt, R-Crown. Specifically, House Republicans are advocating the phase-out of the MinnesotaCare subsidy for the working poor.
In addition to the legislative leaders and chairmen of the respective health and human services committees, state Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans joined the Sunday talks.
In order to avoid a special session, lawmakers must adjourn by midnight on Monday, May 18.