Minnesota lawmakers break off budget talks

SAINT PAUL, Minn. –┬áMinnesota House Democrats are blaming Senate Republicans and their refusal to increase state spending for a collapse in budget negotiations.

Senate Republicans are blaming House Democrats for standing by their tax increase proposals.

“Coming forward with zero change in their net position was extremely disappointing. At that point in the negotiations there really was nothing else to talk about last night,” Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman said.

“The gas tax is not going to happen. We’ve made it very clear that that’s now where we need to be. Transportation is moving forward we have $530 million more into transportation this two year cycle,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said.

Talks on budget targets among Democratic Gov. Tim Walz and leaders of the House and Senate broke off late Monday. The Democrats offered to cut their spending proposals, but Republicans held firm on their proposed spending levels.

No new negotiations on the budget targets are scheduled among the top leaders, although conference committees are continuing to meet.

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