Minnesota's two-year budget puzzle is starting to come together as the state Senate takes up the two biggest pieces of state spending.
The Senate was debating its education budget Thursday. It's a $15.7 billion package that would add to the state's general education funding formula and fund all-day kindergarten statewide. After that the Senate is likely to take up its $11.3 billion funding bill for health and social services.
Earlier Thursday, House lawmakers approved funding for a tuition freeze at Minnesota's colleges and universities.
That leaves just a handful of bills that needs to pass off the House and Senate floor, after which lawmakers meet to conference the bills. The top House and Senate Democrats met with Gov. Mark Dayton on Wednesday to begin talks on a broad budget deal.