Legislature takes extra time to fix the budget

Published 10:30 am Monday, May 17, 2010

The Minnesota Legislature has started what is expected to be a brief special session.

Both legislative chambers convened the special session shortly after midnight today to consider an agreement that erases a $3 billion budget deficit. Delays in getting the bill in voting form, however, had lawmakers headed toward a finish midmorning or later today.

The deal includes nearly $2 billion in delayed aid payments to school districts and spending cuts previously made by Gov. Tim Pawlenty but later struck down by the courts. It would also give Pawlenty or his successor authority to extend Medicaid health care for the poor using federal dollars.

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They ran out of time to vote on the plan by a midnight Sunday deadline for the regular session.