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Senate passes transportation bill; Minnesota budget advances

ST. PAUL — Minnesota lawmakers made more progress toward completing the next state budget Thursday as the Senate gave unanimous final approval to a $7.3 billion transportation bill and sent it to the governor.

Five of a dozen must-pass budget bills now await Gov. Tim Walz’s signature. And negotiators earlier Thursday announced that they had reached agreement on the details of the big health and human services budget. Several other budget bills are in the pipeline for floor votes in the coming days.

That leaves the public safety budget bill as the only remaining must-pass legislation on which lawmakers have yet to make a deal. Negotiators for Senate Republicans and House Democrats remain divided on whether to include new police accountability measures on top of those passed last summer following the death of George Floyd.

The Legislature reconvened for a special session June 14 after failing to pass the $52 billion, two-year budget before time ran out on the year’s regular session last month. The current budget expires June 30.