Bonding Panel Focuses On Transportation, But Dispute Remains

Transportation funding appears to remain the main hurdle to a special legislative session to fund Minnesota public works projects and fix a tax bill. A meeting of House and Senate public works negotiators Tuesday failed to produce any sign they are closer to agreement than when their regular session ended last month. Legislative leaders and…
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Top Minnesota Democrats brief reporters about a Tuesday, June 7, 2016, discussion on a potential special legislative session. From left are House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

Trust Lacking, But Minnesota Leaders Hope For Special Session

Minnesota’s political leaders say they have a problem trusting each other, but on Tuesday they pledged to continue trying to pass failed tax and public works legislation. “We all have trust issues with one another,” Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton said. House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, agreed, adding: “I think the governor hasn’t really kept his…
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A light rail passenger train goes downhill past the Minnesota Capitol on Wednesday, May 25, 2016. Light rail is a controversial topic around the Capitol. (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

The Night The Funding Died

Legislative leaders cannot even agree on what they agreed to, so it is no surprise they can’t agree on what happened. The argument continues, and likely will for a long time, about what happened in the final minutes of Sunday, May 22, as Minnesota lawmakers faced a midnight deadline to pass bills this year. Whatever…
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Political Chatter: Legislative Deals Made Away From Public’s Eye

Minnesota’s legislative leaders often say that House-Senate conference committees should work out major legislation in public. That way, the logic goes, not only can the public watch the public’s business, but more eyes on bills would mean fewer mistakes. But pretty much every year, those public negotiations never happen. A couple of this year’s biggest…
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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton tells reporters Monday, May 23, 2016, that he will consider calling legislators back in to a special sessioin. (Forum News Service photo by Don Davis)

Mixed Legislative Results: Losers Complain

Perhaps library lobbyist Elaine Keefe put it best: “The 2016 legislative session has ended with very mixed results.” After every Minnesota legislative session, there are winners and losers. But in the session that ended with the final bill passing just before midnight Sunday, there appears to be a bigger split than usual. And many an…
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