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A budget deal is done, but a lot is yet to be hammered out at the Minnesota Capitol. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Minnesota's divided state government has reached a compromise on targets for a $52 billion budget, but plenty of major policy decisions still need to be worked out before the House and Senate meet again for a June special session to approve the deal.

  • "I think of this as a numbers-only agreement," Melissa Hortman, DFL speaker of the house, said at a news conference Monday.

Between the lines: Thanks to federal money, Democrats got the education funding they wanted for K-12 and summer schools and Republicans got the tax exemptions they wanted for businesses that got PPP loans and workers who collected unemployment benefits.

What to watch: The two sides, after late-night negotiations over the weekend, still haven't come to terms on how to reform policing and whether or not the state will adopt stricter emission standards, also known as Clean Cars rules.

  • That last point is a tricky one because Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria), the Republican lead on the committee that negotiates the final budget bill, has promised not to pass an environmental budget if Walz doesn't drop the Clean Cars rules, which Walz could implement administratively instead.
  • If an environmental budget doesn't pass, state parks and trails would shut down.

The intrigue: The agreement was criticized by some Republicans who wanted an end to the state's eviction moratorium and for Walz to give up his emergency executive powers.

  • "What have we accomplished? What did the Senate Republicans get? I think one word sums them both up: Nothing," Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) told MPR News.

News you can use: State leaders have once again failed to hammer out a budget before the last day of session, but Minnesotans had to file their taxes on Monday, before a deal was finalized. That's important for those who collected unemployment or PPP.

  • The Minnesota Department of Revenue said that if those tax exemptions are finalized, it will determine if it can make adjustments to tax returns automatically.
  • "If we are not able to make the adjustments automatically, we will communicate that to the impacted taxpayers and encourage them to file an amended return so they can access any refund they may be entitled to because of the law change," Minnesota Department of Revenue spokesman Ryan Brown said in an email.
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Go deeper

Aug 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

House Democrats strike deal to advance infrastructure, voting rights proposals

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) departs the House Democratic Caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After hours of infighting, House Democrats on Tuesday struck a deal that would approve their $3.5 trillion budget resolution, set up floor action on the bipartisan infrastructure bill by Sept. 27 and advance voting rights legislation.

Why it matters: The deal is key to advancing Democrats' top three priorities — all of which are expected to receive little to no House Republican support.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Aug 25, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Schumer: Budget plan key to meeting U.S. goals under the Paris deal

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Democrats' spending and tax plan and the bipartisan infrastructure package would together cut greenhouse gas emissions almost enough to meet the U.S. pledge under the Paris Agreement, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said.

Driving the news: Schumer, in a new letter to Senate colleagues, said his office's analysis of the two proposals shows they would put the U.S. on track to cut emissions around 45% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Federal Reserve scales back expectations for economic recovery as Delta variant weighs

Fed chair Jerome Powell during a congressional hearing last year. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Fed downgraded near-term expectations for the economy and the labor market, alongside hotter-than-expected inflation, in new estimates out on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first time those closely-watched estimates reflect impact from the delta variant that's already rattled the labor market. Still, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said enough progress has been made to begin to pull back emergency-era measures that have supported the economy.

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