- Associated Press - Friday, June 5, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Top Minnesota officials are trading offers to resolve the biggest barrier to finishing the state’s budget.

Allowing counties to hire private auditors has been a major sticking point in a weeks-long budget impasse that threatens to bring on a partial government shutdown.

Dayton had promised he won’t call a special session until lawmakers agree to repeal the change. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt has stressed the change doesn’t take effect until 2016, giving the Legislature time to reconsider.

But the Democratic governor offered Friday to sign off if lawmakers push the effective date back another year.

Time is winding down to reach a deal. The Legislature has until July 1 to finish the budget before nearly 9,500 state employees are laid off.

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