Improve how the Minnesota Legislature sets the state budget — that’s the topic as a series of meetings kicks off at the State Capitol today. Committee chair, Winona Representative Gene Pelowski laments “17 special sessions in the last 21 years. Our one constitutional responsibility is to pass a balanced budget on time.”
Pelowski, in his 17th term, says the legislature has become focused on individual members’ bills: “We put in another record number of bills: 2,921 bills in the House, and I think the Senate put in two more bills than that.” Pelowski says the budget must come first and policy bills are secondary.
Some members want to postpone action on a greater number of policy bills until even-numbered years. That’s when the legislature traditionally passes a bonding bill for state public works projects.