Minnesota House and Senate negotiators begin today (Fri) what will likely be a long process of reaching a compromise on the state budget. MNN’s Bill Werner reports the first meetings are on the health-and-human-services budget (9 am), the tax bill (9 am), and a jobs/energy package (1 pm):

The jobs/energy conference committee has already hit a snag: Senate Republican negotiators don’t plan on showing up today. Senator Eric Pratt wrote his Democratic counterpart that testifiers for the hearing were contacted before the Senate even chose its negotiators, which Pratt calls “an unusually hyper-partisan process.”   The most contentious issue in these negotiations will likely be House Democrats’ family and medical leave proposal.

With or without Republicans, House Democrats say they’ll meet today to discuss family/medical leave, earned sick time, and preventing wage theft.