Senators voted 63-0 Thursday in favor of a plan that caps individual settlements at $400,000.
The full appropriation for the fund would be $25 million, compared to the House version which totals $40 million and does not put a limit on the amount of individual awards.
DFL Sen. Ron Latz, the bill's sponsor, says he's confident that House and Senate negotiators can come up with a compromise.
"The key difference is whether to apply a cap and how much money to put into it, and we'll have to have those conversations. I think there's room to get this done."
The Senate bill also includes $750,000 for administrative costs, and $680,000 targeted to services for the children who were on a school bus when the bridge collapsed.
Gov. Pawlenty supports the creation of a victims compensation fund. His spokesman says the governor will continue to work with legislators to find agreement.