The latest economic forecast shows COVID-19 pushing the state budget into a 2.4-billion-dollar deficit, with under two weeks remaining in the legislative session. Governor Tim Walz says lawmakers are “going to have to be prepared” for a special session to balance the budget:

“We cannot view that we’re gonna fix this budget situation in the next 15 days. It’s not gonna happen.”

House Republican Minority Leader Kurt Daudt says Democratic governors in other states have already come forward with billions of dollars in budget reductions, and it’s time for Governor Walz to do the same. Walz cautions Republican lawmakers not to walk away from things that will help restore the economy — like a robust bonding bill for state public works projects. But Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says the state must exercise caution on a bonding bill because of the cost to taxpayers for borrowing that money.