By Pat Kessler

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Top lawmakers are back at the negotiating table Tuesday night, trying to break a budget stalemate.

Time is running out for Republicans and Democrats to reach agreement on a two-year state budget.

They have only six days to reach an agreement before they are legally required to adjourn Monday at midnight.

They are meeting around the clock trying to work out their vast differences on how to pay for state government.

Republicans want to slim down the budget, and pass more than a billion dollars in tax cuts.

mark dayton and kurt daudt Minnesota Legislative Leaders Resume Budget Talks

Mark Dayton and Kurt Daudt (credit: CBS)

“It is a big deal. You know, we care a lot about making sure that Minnesotans get to share in some of the prosperity that they have created for the state of Minnesota,” said Republican House Speaker Rep. Kurt Daudt. “That was a big priority for us. We feel like Minnesotans haven’t fully recovered from the recession as well as the state budget.”

But Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton says that will threaten future budgets, especially if there is an economic slowdown.

“My number-one priority is to protect the fiscal stability of the state, which we worked very hard to earn back,” Dayton said. “I’m not going to see that sacrificed.”

The two sides did reach an agreement on a bill Tuesday to fund agriculture programs, but that is the least controversial of all the budget measures.

There are separate conversations going on about transportation and taxes.

There is lots of work to do — and little time to do it.

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