Lawmakers work through the night on state budget
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 0:35
The Legislature has been in session since January.
With roughly 24 hours remaining, the Minnesota Legislature finally broke the budget logjam Sunday night, sending several budget bills to Gov. Mark Dayton as the Democratic governor and Republican leaders worked to iron out their remaining disputes that could delay a deal and send the session into overtime.
Under the terms of the deal, Dayton called lawmakers back for a special session starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, one minute after they adjourned the regular session, and legislators will now have until 7 a.m. on Wednesday to finalize the state budget. The parties agreed to a $660 million tax bill, $300 million transportation bill and an education bill worth more than $450 million, along with a $990 million bonding bill. "I think we all knew we had to give up something, which is always what happens, and then get something". "You give and take". "You want to work toward that", he said, according to the Star Tribune.
There's precedent for such an agreement.
But time in their overtime session ticked away as the two sides slowly finalized detailed agreements for how to finish up the bulk of the state's budget.
But there are still plenty of unanswered questions this year. Dayton and Republican lawmakers' biggest disagreements has been over how much to spend on which preschool programs and how to spend it.
Governor Dayton would like to increase funding for education and health and human services. And the GOP pushed the Democratic governor for more in tax relief and a transportation funding plan that doesn't raise gasoline taxes or license tab fees.
Lawmakers must now figure out a way to fund state government for the next two years. Their agreement also calls for almost $1 billion of public construction projects, with a healthy share for transportation repairs. Dayton previously vetoed a version of the bill which would add $18.6 million to the school's allocation. There were also complaints about its prohibition on local government enacting bans on plastic bags. In exchange for pulling the protest language, a prohibition on driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants remains in the bill, said Zerwas, who was chief sponsor of the highway protest bill.
"I won't sign a bill for preemption". It also depends on remaining bills being finished. They are taking their kids to games. Roger Chamberlain, the Senate's top tax expert, confirmed Republicans had dropped their insistence on putting tax credits toward scholarships for Minnesota students to attend private schools - a top prize for the GOP. A brief special session to wrap up after Monday's deadline was a possibility. It appeared they wouldn't finish on time, but around 11:15 p.m. lawmakers announced the tentative deal. Dayton and Democrats have objected to both of those provisions. The public safety budget bill, meanwhile, increased funding for the courts and removed a controversial provision that increased penalties for people who blocked freeways during protests.
The $650 million package of tax cuts is headlined by a break for seniors receiving Social Security income. That door is already shut.
Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St.
Committee chairs involved in the negotiations offered few details. Minneapolis and St. Paul soon will have paid time-off requirements and leaders of both cities have looked at lifting the minimum wage for all workers within their cities. Senate Republicans have a one-vote, 34-33 majority in the chamber. "I'm so thankful for all of your prayers, support, and genuine expressions of love during this hard time".
A brief "get-it-done" special session is not unheard of.
Republicans also passed a $524 million reinsurance proposal in March, which aims to help health insurance companies cover some of the costliest claims.
The new amount is still below the $96.8 million increase Dayton asked for and the $147.2 million increase the University requested. It included coming back in an immediate special session needed to plow through the details. "Obviously, I'm very frustrated with that turn of events". Gazelka said as he gaveled out session.