ST. PAUL, Minn. — It’s officially the 11th hour at the Minnesota Capitol, where lawmakers are racing against a clock that ends Sunday to pass budgets without a government shutdown or special session.
Many watching the final hours of the session are wondering: Will this year be a repeat of last two sessions that have ended in chaos?
Alpha News reported in May 2016, members of the House were seen panicking in the last hour of the session and a heated discussion between Rep. Paul Thissen (D-Minneapolis) and House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) took place in front of members of the floor.
In 2015, video of the last minutes of the session shows members of the House yelling at Daudt as they try to plow through the agenda.
In each session, members were unable to pass big bills like Real ID and other budget bills.
As reported by Alpha News, Republicans passed five omnibus spending bills for the state budget, 12 days before the end of the session.
The bills make up more than $33.8 billion in the state’s spending budget for the 2017-2018 cycle.
However, before the Governor left the St. Paul to celebrate the 2017 fishing opener in St. Cloud, he vetoed the five bills. The bills passed made up five of 10 budget bills that were expected to pass before the end of the session.
Though confident, the House and Senate seem unlikely to compromise on Real ID. As Alpha News has reported throughout the session, controversy over language banning illegal immigrants from having driver’s licenses has been a sticking point between Republicans and Democrats.
The Senate eventually negotiated with Democrats to remove the language, but the House has remained strong in its decision to keep the language in their bill.
Daudt reassured delegates that House Republicans would not allow the language to pass, stating,“Dayton this session is doing everything he can possibly do to give driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in the state of Minnesota.”
The House, Senate, and Governor have until midnight, Sunday, May 22, to create five new omnibus bills to replace the ones vetoed by the Governor and come to terms with the other five bills that have not been sent to the Governor’s desk.