State lawmakers have set earlier-than-usual deadlines, hoping to avoid a special session in a year when they set the state budget. The deadline for committees to finish work on budget bills is the last day of March and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says, “That’s way early. It allows us over 50 days to get our work done before session ends.” But Rochester Senator Carla Nelson also wants a deadline for work to be finished on final compromise bills which would then be passed and go to the governor. Nelson says, “That truly… is how we can change the trajectory of getting those things in front of the public and in front of legislators.”
Legislative leaders at the beginning of the 2017 session expressed confidence that lawmakers would finish their work by the deadline the third week in May. But there are many contentious issues, plus state government is divided with Republicans controlling the legislature and a Democrat in the governor’s office.