It was another day — and night — of closed-door meetings at the State Capitol, but Governor Tim Walz and legislative leaders are mute on what kind of progress they’re making toward a state budget deal with only five days remaining in the legislative session. As he headed back into negotiations Wednesday night, Governor Walz said Peace Officer Memorial Day ceremonies he had just attended “refocuses me on exactly why we’re doing what we’re doing.” And are they making any progress in negotiations? “We’re moving, I think. We’re still moving.”
But the principal negotiators have imposed what they call a “cone of silence,” meaning there’s no information about whether they’re narrowing their differences over state government spending and, equally important, the governor’s proposed gas tax increase and extension of the medical provider tax.
If the legislature doesn’t pass a budget by next Monday, a special session will be needed.