A special legislative session to pass the state’s overdue budget and end the 19-day government shutdown will begin at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Gov. Mark Dayton announced this morning.
According to the signed agreement between Dayton and the four legislative leaders, the session will consider 12 fiscal bills and will adjourn sine die within two days.
At a joint press appearance outside the governor’s office on Tuesday, Dayton said his staff and legislative members have worked “literally around the clock for the last four days and nights” to get the bills done. No one is going to be completely thrilled with the final product, he added, saying that’s “just the essence of compromise.”
The 12 bills are: taxes, K-12 education, capital investment, health and human services, state government innovation and veterans, transportation, judiciary and public safety, jobs and economic growth, environment/energy/commerce, higher education, to pensions and Legacy.
“It’s been almost seven months that we’ve been hammering away at a very difficult budget under very difficult circumstances,” Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch said.
Dayton and all four legislative leaders have agreed to expedite the process by suspending the rules and placing the bills on their third reading. No amendments are to be considered on the bills, according to the agreement. However, there may be agreed upon technical corrections.
The agreement calls on the session to conclude within two days, but GOPers and Dayton said they hope to get the bills through as quickly as possible. House Speaker Kurt Zellers noted that the members of the lower chamber like to air their thoughts on the floor. “That process will only be as long as our members want to pontificate,” he said.
When asked if they had the votes to pass the budget in the GOP caucuses, Koch said, “Yes,” but noted that her members are still reviewing the bills as they are posted.