Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Walz, legislative leaders end latest budget talks without a deal

Plus: Sen. Tina Smith talks about her own bouts with depression as she pushes for more mental health spending; transfer of agents could mean delays at US-Canada border; massive cleanup project on St. Louis River to begin in June; and more.

Gov. Tim Walz
Gov. Tim Walz speaking to reporters on Sunday night at the Capitol.
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan

From KSTP-TV: “Budget talks between Minnesota lawmakers and Gov. Tim Walz abruptly ended Sunday night without any clear resolution to major sticking points. With a May 20 close to the legislative session, the clock continues to tick for lawmakers if they wish to avoid a special session. Walz and House Democrats have come down from initial spending proposals by around $500 million in the last few days and state that Senate Republicans have not made workable counter offers. The points that continue to draw the most conflict remain a gas tax proposed by Walz and supported by the Democrats and a medical tax.”

The Star Tribune’s Patrick Condon writes: “Sen. Tina Smith was in her late 30s, a successful career woman and the mother of two young boys, when depression hit. … The Minnesota Democrat, now 61, is talking publicly for the first time about her own bouts with depression as she pushes for more federal spending on mental health programs. … The experience informs Smith’s focus on expanding treatment options for young people. She wants Congress to approve $1 billion in grants over five years for school districts to partner with local treatment organizations to deliver mental health services directly in school settings.”

For the AP, Wilson Ring says, “Hundreds of border agents from across the U.S. are being temporarily transferred south ahead of the busy summer tourism season, worrying those along the northern border who rely on cross-border commerce — including U.S. innkeepers, shop owners and restaurateurs who fear their Canadian customers could be caught in backups at border crossings. … The move comes as businesses gear up for the summer season, when tens of thousands of Canadian tourists help buoy the economies of communities in border states and elsewhere deeper inside the United States.”

In the Duluth News Tribune, John Myers reports, “Work will begin in June on a massive cleanup project on the St. Louis River in Duluth, removing tons of wood waste from an old sawmill site at Grassy Point and removing flood-dumped sediment at the mouth of Kingsbury Creek. The combined efforts will rehabilitate 240 acres total and cost more than $15 million and are part of the long-term effort to chip away at legacy pollution problems and habitat loss that has rendered the St. Louis River estuary on the list of toxic hotspots across the Great Lakes.”

Article continues after advertisement

In the Star Tribune, from Paul Walsh. “A onetime Postal Service employee who ‘found himself obsessively chasing conspiracy theories’ before he fired three shotgun blasts across Hennepin Avenue from his workplace into the Federal Reserve Building in downtown Minneapolis has been sentenced to less than a year’s confinement. Christopher D. Wood, 43, of St. Paul, was sentenced in federal court in Minneapolis last week to four months of incarceration and another four months of home confinement  … .”

This from the AP: “Republicans determined to deliver Wisconsin for President Trump next year will be doing it with a party working to rebuild after the departure of its two biggest stars and a rough midterm election that sent it reeling. The Wisconsin GOP heads into its state convention that starts Friday with a plan that depends on rebuilding from the ground up after former House Speaker Paul Ryan retired and Gov. Scott Walker was voted out of office. … The loss of the governor’s office is particularly stinging for Republicans, as Walker was the most prolific fundraiser in the history of Wisconsin politics, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars for the GOP.”

A Reuters story says, “Wells Fargo & Co’s hunt for a new CEO is being impeded by limits on how much the bank can pay its next leader, a person close to the search and several industry insiders told Reuters. A handful of top candidates have already said they would not pursue the job because Wells Fargo is unlikely to meet their pay requirements, said the person, who spoke about private negotiations on the condition of anonymity. Wells Fargo declined to comment on the search process.”