Minnesota legislative leaders say they have budget deal

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) – The two top leaders of the Minnesota Legislature said they reached an agreement with Democratic Gov. Tim Walz early Monday on broad goals for the state’s next biennial budget, but that lawmakers will have to meet again for a special session. in mid-June to complete the work.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman told Minnesota Public Radio that they plan to nail the final details and announce them later on Monday. They also said they expected police accountability measures to be part of the final package, but did not give details.

Hortman said they were “very, very close” and hoped to “sprinkle i’s and cross t’s” before releasing the details. Deciding how to spend $ 2.8 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds was one of the biggest complications, she said.

“We think we’re on the brink of a deal but we want to make sure we’re all on the same page, (that) we’ve understood each other. … It’s one thing to think you agree; it’s another to be able to write invoices that take over $ 50 billion, ”said Hortman.

The speaker said it will be up to the conference committee negotiating the public security budget bill to find common ground and decide which police accountability proposals passed by the House will make it their version. final.

Gazelka did not say which ones could make the final cut, but ruled out civilian oversight boards or the weakening of qualified immunity that protects law enforcement officials from liability when using force.

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