Johnson, former GOP nominee for MN governor, announces 2018 bid

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeff Johnson smiles as he watches returns after arriving at a restaurant where supporters were gathered Tuesday Aug. 12 2014 in Plymouth Minn

Late-Tuesday changes in the transportation funding bill written by Republicans who control the Legislature inserted some Twin Cities transit concessions into the measure in the hopes that Dayton would accept the bill. Dayton has not yet indicated if he will veto other budget bills passed Tuesday evening.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt and former Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey are considering runs.

Rep. Duane Sauke, DFL-Rochester, said he is concerned about Republicans rushing to pass their own budget bills instead of sitting down to negotiate with governor's office. One of the biggest discrepancies has been tax relief, with Republicans looking for roughly $1.1 billion in tax cuts, and the governor proposing a more modest $300 million.

Dayton has said he will veto all of them and that he won't resume talks with GOP leaders until that process plays out. Both the House and Senate started passing budget bills, kicking off a flurry of final votes on budget bills that Dayton has suggested he'd veto. Legislative debate and votes on parts of the more than $45 billion two-year budget were expected to stretch into the night.

Lawmakers are running out of time to finalize a deal with Dayton on a new, two-year budget. We need to show the people of Minnesota that we in the Legislature are getting our work done. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, announced that he was short one member of his 34-33 majority: Sen. "Our job is to pass our bills", Republican House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin said. "We are playing it by ear".

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