As the session comes to a close for Minnesota lawmakers, the pressure to make final deals is more prevalent than ever. House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown), Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (D-Cook), and Governor Mark Dayton (D) met in a closed-door meeting on Monday.
After the meeting, House Speaker Kurt Daudt, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, and Governor Dayton made it clear that the meeting did not provide resolutions to the series of issues left to tackle before the May 23rd adjournment date. Both Governor Dayton and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk agreed that “they had a constructive conversation, but didn’t come to any agreements.” House Speaker Kurt Daudt said that “these first meetings are always a bit about getting on the same page.” The statement by the House Speaker implies that this will not be the last time that we see them meeting at the Governor’s mansion before session’s end.
It would not be necessary for lawmakers to pass anything as the surplus would carry forward should lawmakers not come to a decision. The surplus currently sits at $900 million. Both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have tried to figure out how to spend the surplus. However, since the session ends in two weeks, lawmakers have decided to come together as they seek to pass million dollar construction projects and funding for roads and bridges in a transportation package that will provide $600 million annually.
Over the next few weeks, lawmakers will have the opportunity to look over tax and transportation bills not passed from the last session, and a new bonding bill after Senate Democrats’ $1.5 billion bonding bill failed last week. Republicans have not put forth their own bonding bill as of yet. Lawmakers will also look at education, drug sentencing, and Real ID.
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