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Little progress as Mark Dayton, Kurt Daudt discuss special session

ST. PAUL--Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Daudt talked about a possible special legislative session Friday but didn't resolve any of the issues still preventing it.

ST. PAUL-Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and House Speaker Kurt Daudt talked about a possible special legislative session Friday but didn't resolve any of the issues still preventing it.

Political leaders talked on and off all summer about a special session after lawmakers adjourned their regular legislative session in May without passing a bill to borrow money for infrastructure projects. Talks accelerated after Dayton vetoed the Legislature's $300 million tax cut bill over a drafting error.

Talks finally broke down last month over the issue of funding for the Southwest Light Rail line. But Dayton subsequently directed the Metropolitan Council to pursue a backup plan to fund the controversial project. That led to suggestions that a special session could happen after all, with the biggest roadblock resolved.

Dayton, a Democrat, and Daudt, a Republican, met Friday morning for a previously scheduled breakfast. Their discussion of a special session didn't result in any breakthroughs.

Dayton's deputy chief of staff, Linden Zakula, said the governor told Daudt he "did not want to go through another round of... impasses" and suggested that staff for all parties discuss the issue.

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Among the issues still dividing the two sides are funding for renovations at Fort Snelling State Park and security upgrades at the state psychiatric hospital in St. Peter.

Daudt on Thursday called these issues "minor" and predicted they could be resolved quickly.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA LEGISLATURE
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