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Senate passes transportation bill; Minnesota budget advances

June 24, 2021 GMT
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Members of the Minnesota State Patrol kept an eye on the Never Again Bill protesters. They are trying to prevent Minnesota Governors from unilaterally declaring emergencies, requiring a 2/3 vote by the House and Senate Monday, June 14, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. The Minnesota Legislature convenes for the first day of what's expected to be a prolonged special session to pass a two-year, $52 billion state budget. Leaders met all weekend in the lead up to special session Monday to try and finalize deals on a number of issues, including police reform and education funding. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)
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Members of the Minnesota State Patrol kept an eye on the Never Again Bill protesters. They are trying to prevent Minnesota Governors from unilaterally declaring emergencies, requiring a 2/3 vote by the House and Senate Monday, June 14, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. The Minnesota Legislature convenes for the first day of what's expected to be a prolonged special session to pass a two-year, $52 billion state budget. Leaders met all weekend in the lead up to special session Monday to try and finalize deals on a number of issues, including police reform and education funding. (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — 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.