Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Michael Siluk/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Minnesota Legislature returns from a holiday break today, setting off a six-week sprint to reach deals on a laundry list of issues.

The state of play: The biggest and most important item on the divided Legislature's to-do list is passing a two-year state budget.

  • The dramatic turnaround from a projected deficit to a $1.6 billion surplus should make things easier because lawmakers don't have to pass tax increases or make deep cuts to meet their constitutional requirement to balance the state's books by the summer.
  • But the DFL-majority House and the GOP-led Senate remain far apart on what to do as the process picks up this week.

The key issue: House Democrats, like Gov. Tim Walz, want tax increases for corporations and the wealthy to send more money to schools and other programs. Senate Republicans are a hard no on the revenue hikes. They're arguing for trims in state spending.

  • Both sides support some level of tax relief for pandemic aid, but they disagree on how far to extend the breaks.

But, but, but: The eventual budget measures, known as omnibus bills in legislative parlance, will cover a lot more than spending and tax levels.

  • That means a host of other policy issues are also on the negotiating table as the two sides hammer out a deal.

What else to watch: There appears to be momentum to address one issue: Fixing the state's sexual assault statute in light of a recent state Supreme Court ruling on cases involving intoxicated victims.

  • Other fights that dominated the first weeks of session, including the SAFE Act for Chauvin trial security funding and a push to send more cash now to schools for summer learning, appear to be on ice following approval of federal stimulus funds for local governments and districts.
  • And Speaker Melissa Hortman suggested yesterday that a partial wind-down of Walz's emergency powers — a top priority for Republicans — could be in the cards by the end of session.

What's next: Committees in both chambers will hold hearings to review budget proposals this week.

  • But if past years are any indication, the final budget agreement will be crafted in closed-door negotiations between committee chairs and leaders.

The bottom line: It's been a slow — and, some argue, unproductive — session so far thanks to partisan disagreements and pandemic-winnowed agendas.

  • But that will change as the May 17 adjournment deadline nears.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.
Not a valid email format.
Not a valid email format.
Server error. Please try a different email.

Go deeper

Senate parliamentarian says Democrats could use budget reconciliation again

Photo: Jonathan Ernst/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough issued an opinion Monday that could allow Democrats to use the budget reconciliation process again in fiscal year 2021, a spokesman for Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) said

Why it matters: The opinion increases the number of pathways for advancing President Biden’s agenda without having to end the filibuster.

America's pandemic coin crunch returns

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

An early pandemic problem that plagued businesses is back: not enough change to go around.

Why it matters: The pandemic broke America's coin flow. It has repercussions for millions that rely on it for daily transactions.