ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republican lawmakers are heading into court-ordered mediation.

The Minnesota Supreme Court directed Dayton and legislative leaders into private negotiations to work out a months-long legal battle over Dayton's decision to veto the Legislature's operating budget. Dayton wants to rework costly tax breaks and other measures but Republicans sued, calling it unconstitutional.

The mediation sessions were expected to begin Thursday and continue through Friday. But it will be a private affair.

Both sides are sworn to secrecy as they try to bridge their impasse. Dayton refused to answer any questions about his approach on Wednesday.

Those sessions will add to taxpayers' growing expenses for the legal battle. Both sides are paying their attorneys up to $500 hourly and mediator Rick Solum charges $257 an hour.