‘Lights on’ off to governor

With the Minnesota Legislature’s Monday deadline looming, the House approved a bill today that would continue to fund state operations if a budget deal is not reached by the start of the next two-year budget.

House Majority Leader Tony Sertich said the intention is to end the session on time and with a complete budget.

“But as the Boy Scouts say, we should always be prepared,” said Sertich, DFL-Chisholm.

Republicans said the so-called “lights on” bill sends a message that lawmakers are throwing in the towel.

“This is kind of the ‘let’s give up’ bill,” House Minority Leader Marty Seifert said.

Lawmakers do not understand how each state agency would be funded under the proposal, the Marshall Republican added.

The House passed the bill 88-46. Senators approved the bill Monday, so it heads to Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s desk.

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