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Legislature taking break next week

Legislators better work hard this week because next week they’re on break, and there’s still plenty to be done before the scheduled adjournment date of May 23.

Starting Monday, there are no scheduled meetings until Tuesday, April 25.

Even with the days off, Republican legislators say they think they can finish the work of balancing the budget on time, says the Pioneer Press.

Says the story:

House Speaker Kurt Zellers, Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, Management and Budget Commissioner Jim Schowalter and Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans — all responded with a firm “Yes!” when asked whether the Legislature would adjourn on time.

But not everyone agrees:

A lot of veteran political observers doubt that. Dayton is insisting on tax increases that Republican lawmakers adamantly oppose, while they have proposed deep spending cuts that the Democratic governor steadfastly rejects. It will be difficult to resolve their differences over how to close a $5 billion hole in the budget in the remaining six weeks.

If they don’t meet the deadline, Dayton would have to call lawmakers back into special session to avoid a partial state government shutdown on July 1, when the current budget expires.

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