Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton last week met with legislative leaders to negotiate terms for a special session, but their talks failed to make progress on the situation. Just over three weeks ago, Governor Dayton issued a list of additional bonding and spending projects he wants in a special session legislative package. The GOP has bristled at adding more spending in a special session.
When they met last week, GOP leaders added two issues important for them. One of the new issues was tax credits for education, which education leaders argue simply amount to vouchers for private school. The second issue was passing a state law that would preempt local governments from passing paid family leave ordinances like Minneapolis did last year.
Business groups loathe the idea of government mandated paid family leave, let alone the creation of a patch quilt of local government ordinances. Governor Dayton blasted their requests and said this was moving them backwards in negotiations. GOP leaders argued Dayton opened the door to new items of interest with his list of additional projects he wants in the bonding bill.
Special Session Need
The major focus of a potential special session is revamping a tax bill that Governor Dayton vetoed because of a costly error and a bonding bill that failed to pass the legislature during the regular session. DFL leaders are battling GOP opposition to the southwest light rail line that would take commuters from Eden Prairie to downtown Minneapolis. Initially,
Dayton said he wouldn’t call a special session after the 4th of July weekend, but last week he was less firm on this.
It’s still possible for them to reach an agreement and we hope they do. There are important tax changes and bonding projects at stake for the people and communities of Minnesota.