ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Top Republican lawmakers and Gov. Mark Dayton are close to starting end-of-session budget talks with a $5 billion deficit and 10 days to go in the legislative session.
Dayton headed to Grand Rapids Friday for the fishing opener, where GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers and House Majority Leader Matt Dean are joining him.
Both legislative chambers meet Saturday, as House-Senate negotiating panels finish work on a full slate of budget bills. Committees have come up with plans for public colleges, K-12 schools, health and welfare programs, road programs and taxes.
Dayton says he plans to look at the budget bills on Sunday.
A wide gulf still separates the two sides. Republicans want spending cuts while Dayton seeks higher income taxes for the wealthy.