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The Latest: Minnesota leaders unveil bipartisan budget deal

May 20, 2019
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Gov. Tim Walz, center, with Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, right, and House Speaker Melissa Hortman, gestures at a news conference as he was announcing a budget deal in St. Paul, Minn., Sunday, May 19, 2019. Walz and top legislative leaders reached a bipartisan budget deal Sunday in which the governor dropped his proposed gas tax increase but got to keep most of an expiring tax that helps fund health care programs, Republicans got an income tax cut for middle-class Minnesotans and both sides claimed credit for additional spending on education. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on Minnesota’s budget negotiations (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and top legislative leaders have reached a bipartisan budget agreement that drops the governor’s proposed gasoline tax increase but gives middle-class Minnesotans an income tax cut and preserves most of an expiring tax that funds health care.

The Democratic governor, Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman announced details Sunday, with just over 24 hours before Monday night’s adjournment deadline. The leaders expect to call a one-day special session for Thursday to finish the work.

The deal also includes more money for education.

Walz said the negotiations were difficult and neither side got everything it wanted, but that it showed they were able to make divided government work.

Gazelka said the talks ended in a draw that will be good for Minnesota.

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5:30 p.m.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and top legislative leaders have reached a budget agreement with the clock ticking down on the 2019 legislative session.

They’ve scheduled a news conference for 6:30 p.m. to announce the details.

Neither Walz nor Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka nor Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman had said much publicly for the past week on the progress of their negotiations toward a budget deal.

But the legislative session faces an adjournment deadline of midnight Monday night, and it’s expected that lawmakers will need a special session to complete their work.

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2 p.m.

Top legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Tim Walz have resumed discussions as the clock tocks down on the 2019 legislative session with no word on whether they’re close to a deal for completing their work.

Neither Walz nor Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka nor Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman have said much publicly for the past week on the progress of their negotiations toward a budget deal.

Nor have they officially said whether a special session will be necessary, but the adjournment deadline is Monday night.

The Senate on Saturday approved a Republican plan for preventing a state government shutdown if a stalemate persists.

Democratic House Minority Leader Tom Bakk dismissed the gambit as throwing in the towel and accused Republicans of bargaining in bad faith.

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