Local Lawmaker Prepared To Go To Special Session

Local Lawmaker Prepared To Go To Special Session Click to Enlarge Photo: Minnesota Legislature

(KNSI) - Budget talks have resumed at the Minnesota Capitol as the governor, House Democrats and Senate Republicans try to complete a two-year budget deal and avoid a special session or government shutdown.

The three sides held a marathon session that lasted until 2:30 a.m. Wednesday and reconvened around 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday

Republican Senator Jeff Howe, of Rockville, is one of the ten lawmakers on the committee trying to hammer out a two-year budget.

He told KNSI's Ryan Cunningham the governor's proposed gas tax and two-percent medical provider tax are not needed because the state already has enough money coming in.

"We had a billion-dollar surplus last year, and this year we're already talking about almost a half-billion-dollar surplus again so, when do we say we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem."

Howe says the two sides are far apart and he's not optimistic that a deal will be done by Monday's deadline.

"I would like to see it happen but I'm not willing to jeopardize the future of this state to get a quick fix."

If a budget isn't passed by late Monday night the governor would need to call a special session for the two sides to continue to negotiate.

Howe says the state has enough money to continue to run until late June.

If a budget isn't passed by then, there would be a state government shut down.

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