No deal reached at state budget session

- Trying to avoid a possible government shut down, lawmakers and Governor Dayton met on Saturday to pass a state budget.

As of Saturday evening, no deal was reached.

Both sides have agreed to make changes to original proposals, but divisions remain on what areas to focus on within the budget bill. What to do with Minnesota’s $1.65 billion surplus is also being discussed.

Right now, Republicans hold a majority in the house and senate. The party favors returning much of the surplus in the form of tax cuts and credits. However, Governor Dayton would like to increase funding for education and health and human services programs.

Lawmakers weren’t the only ones meeting at the Capitol.

Demonstrators voiced their support for education funding dropped by the governor’s office. The group left behind 1,000 letters urging Governor Dayton to keep pushing for funds.

If no deal is reached by Monday night, a special session will be needed. Both sides are trying to avoid the first government shut down since 2011.

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