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GOP plans to send Dayton second round of budget bills

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Republican legislative leaders say they'll send Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton another budget in hopes that he signs it.

The two sides have been meeting all week to strike a deal on a new two-year budget but made little progress. The Legislature must finish its work by midnight Monday.

GOP leaders announced Friday the framework of a budget that Dayton hadn't approved. It's a repeat of an earlier maneuver when they sent Dayton budget bills that were promptly vetoed.

But House Speaker Kurt Daudt says it's an effort at "true compromise." It has much more funding for public schools that Dayton wanted and $660 million in tax breaks - half of what the GOP had originally hoped for.

Daudt says they'll keep tweaking the bills to get the governor's approval.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Minnesota's Legislature settled in Friday for a weekend of work as Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders resumed private talks to hash out a new budget.

The two sides have spent much of the week behind closed doors, tackling a mountain of difference between the Democratic governor and GOP Legislature for a $45 billion-plus budget that will determine whether they finish by Monday's deadline, require an overtime session or force a government shutdown. And their list of disputes heading into the final days was long.

How much should the state send to public schools or specifically devote to expanding a preschool program, a top Dayton priority? Will a tax bill wind up closer to the GOP's goal of $1 billion or Dayton's much smaller figure of $300 million? How much in general tax dollars should be shifted for road and bridge repairs? And countless smaller policy questions could derail the whole thing.

It was unclear exactly where they stood Friday afternoon. Neither Dayton nor top Republicans would say much through series of private meetings throughout the day.

But just the talks themselves were a sign of some progress. Those discussions froze Thursday as both sides focused on publicly bashing each other's positions, blaming one another for the impasse.

Budget deals often materialize quickly at the Capitol, setting off a late-night flurry of final votes before the constitutional deadline to finish before midnight Monday. There was at least one clear sign lawmakers were preparing for a photo finish: Senate aides were seen removing the clocks from the chamber Friday afternoon.

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