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Budget progress at the Capitol?

Republican legislative leaders see momentum towards the session’s conclusion in a dozen days.  Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch announced “We’re making great progress with the governor.”   Lawmakers acknowledged they are now using state agency cost estimates called fiscal notes for their budget bills.  But revenue and taxes will continue to be a point of contention with Democratic Governor Mark Dayton.  Republican Deputy Minority Leader Geoff Michel said “I can’t imagine Gov. Dayton would threaten a special session or government shutdown for tax increases.”

Democratic legislative leaders aren’t so optimistic.  DFL Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk reacted that “the lack of action on the budget is remarkable.”  He criticized Republicans for not releasing their budget target numbers given to conference committees that are expected to conclude the budget bills within days.  DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen added “Republicans are holding the people of Minnesota hostage to protect their rich friends.”

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