'Time's ticking': Walz, Senate leaders fail to reach deal in Sunday night meeting

It was no deal Sunday night as budget talks failed once again at the State Capitol.

Gov. Tim Walz spoke after his meeting with senate leaders ended abruptly.

The meeting started at 7 p.m. and just before 9 p.m., FOX 9 learned that Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka had offered no deal and left through a back door without talking to the media.

This is the first time the two sides resumed talks on the budget since negotiations failed several days ago.

Right now, they’re about $2 billion apart on new spending and figuring out the state’s two-year, nearly $50 billion budget.

Walz says they’ve come down about 10 percent since their initial budget to about $200 million each year to meet the other side halfway, but that’ still not good enough.

The biggest issues are what to do with the state’s 2 percent tax on medical services that’s expiring at the end of the year. There’s also an issue on how to tackle the Governor’s proposed gas tax, which originally would have been an increase of 20 cents per gallon.

There has not been much progress recently on the two sides coming to any sort of compromise. Republicans have offered to cut waste in healthcare and put that money toward K-12 education.

Walz ran a campaign on better roads and infrastructure, schools, healthcare, gun safety and climate change.

The Governor was clearly frustrated by the lack of progress when he spoke Sunday.

“I’m not asking them what I think would be a proportionate number, but I am asking them to move somewhat in our direction, so I am frustrated,” he said.

With about a week to go before the session officially ends, it’s unclear how all of this will get resolved.

The Governor does have the authority to call a special session. They must have a fiscal deal in place by June 30 or the state government will shut down.

"Time's ticking," Walz said.