Messy Ending? Check. Special Session? We’ll See

The Minnesota Legislature has built a reputation for chaotic endings, followed by a special session to pass what lawmakers left undone in their allotted time. Sunday’s midnight deadline continued legislators’ chaos tradition, but the question is whether Gov. Mark Dayton will call a special session to get $1 billion for transportation and other public works…
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Minnesota state Rep. Dale Lueck of Aitkin listens to House debate Sunday, May 22, 2016, the final day the Legislature could pass bills. (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

Transportation, Bonding Fail At End Of Minnesota Legislature

Minnesota legislators came to St. Paul with hopes to pass a good many bills, but they failed to approve two major issues, transportation and public works funding, by a midnight Sunday deadline. The House hurriedly passed the combined measure in the final minutes, but the Senate put on an amendment and there was not enough…
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Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook talks to reporters Sunday, May 22, 2016, as time runs out to pass bills in the legislative session. (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

Pieces Slowly Fall Into Place At Minnesota Legislature

Minnesota Republicans entered the 2016 legislative session with dreams of passing a slimmed down version of their $2.2 billion tax-cut plan that failed in 2015. It appears they got a $258 million tax cut bill for the next year. Democrats arrived in St. Paul on March 8 with dreams of requiring employers to take part…
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Minnesota state Rep. Steve Drazkowski of Mazeppa tells fellow lawmakers Sunday, May 22, 2016, that a property tax provisions there were about to approve would help farmers and small businesses. (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

Tax-cut Bill First To Pass As Minnesota Lawmakers Face Midnight Deadline

The Minnesota House passed legislation cutting taxes Sunday afternoon, the first of four major bills on the final day lawmakers can take action, Also, negotiators approved a plan to increase spending $167 million over the existing two-year, $42 billion budget. However, there was no apparent movement in the public works and transportation funding areas. Legislators…
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Top Minnesota legislative transportation negoiators Rep. Tim Kelly of Red Wing, left, and Sen. Scott Dibble of Minneapolis hold a serious conversation Saturday, May 21, 2016, before a conference committee discussed transportation funding. (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

Minnesota Tax Cuts, Budget Advance; Transportation, Bonding Going Slow

Bills cutting taxes and increasing spending on Saturday looked like they will pass the Minnesota Legislature as bills funding transportation and public works projects crawled toward a midnight Sunday deadline. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, D-Cook, said that legislation to change a $42 billion, two-year budget enacted last year means $167 million more spending funded…
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