Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said today negotiations between the DFL-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House are moving into a critical phase if the Legislature expects to finish by its May 18 adjournment date. 

"What we need are appropriations bills that fund state government," Bakk said. Bakk said a tax bill and a transporation bill are not necessary, and that he's willing to adjourn without them. 

This is unacceptable to House Republicans, who passed a $2 billion tax cut aimed at seniors who receive Social Security, military pensioners, businesses that own property and a range of other taxpayers. 

Bakk said he has offered to give up his top priority, a dedicated tax to fund transportation improvements, if Republicans give up their main priority, which is a tax cut bill. 

"They can’t expect that I’m gonna give up on on my number one priority, and they still continue to get theirs," Bakk said. 

Bakk also said he talked to Gov. Mark Dayton Sunday and expects Dayton to become a bigger part of negotiations today or Tuesday.