By Pat Kessler


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A budget deal is very slowly coming together at the Minnesota State Capitol Wednesday night.

The 2019 regular legislative session ended Monday night, so Gov. Tim Walz will have to call lawmakers back to St. Paul to finish their work.

Top lawmakers shook hands on a budget deal Sunday night, but they have had a very hard time actually working out the details.

Wednesday night, page by page, we’re starting to see what’s in and what’s out.

A handful of top state legislators are making all the decisions, sending out one-to-three-page agreements that everyone has signed.

Now, House and Senate members are meeting to actually write the bills.

Here’s some of what’s in and what’s out:

  • OUT: There’s no gas tax hike, even though Democrats had wanted 20-cents a gallon.
  • IN: There’s $56 million to keep fixing the botched vehicle licensing system, and money for deputy registrars who lost money.
  • IN: Minnesota prisons will get more corrections officers after a series of violent acts against them.
  • OUT: There are no gun safety measures, despite months of gun violence demonstrations.
  • IN: Minnesota cities and towns get a huge infusion of local aid, restoring local governments to their 2002 levels.
  • IN: There is an income tax cut for middle income families.
  • IN: 4,000 voluntary pre-school classroom spots get a reprieve, they continue for two years. Classrooms get a 2% per year funding hike.

Gov. Walz is preparing to call a special session to finish all of the work on the budget, but it is painstakingly slow. Right now the plan is to hold a one-day session on Friday, and then freedom for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Pat Kessler

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