Top Republican lawmakers are in Moorhead this afternoon, trumpeting the accomplishments of the legislative session just ended. House Speaker Kurt Daudt points to Sunday liquor sales and REAL ID, plus major items like tax relief, transportation funding and a bonding bill. Daudt says, “A lot of work was done this session, we think the most productive session in recent memory.” Daudt says although the session took extra time, the finish was less messy than many others.
Daudt says about the just under one-billion-dollar bonding bill lawmakers passed on a very strong vote in the House, “For Republicans this was a bill that was really heavy on the kind of infrastructure that frankly we like to invest in: roads and bridges, water, other things that I think people really expect us to do in a bonding bill. So that’s why it achieved so many votes.”
Governor Mark Dayton says he’ll decide by midnight tonight on the budget bills the legislature sent him at the end of last week’s special session. Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka says he believes the governor will sign the bills because they worked with him all the way through. Gazelka says, “I made a commitment that I was gonna work with the governor to the very end. So as we came to the end process, I didn’t care if it took an extra day or two. I was gonna make sure that we worked through every issue.”
Governor Dayton said Friday he’s “unhappy about features in just about every one of the bills” and “genuinely undecided on all of them.” He noted the tax bill prioritizes the needs of the wealthy and large corporations over middle-income Minnesotans. Dayton adds he’s very disappointed with what Republicans provided for the U-of-M and state colleges and universities, which he warns will put “extreme pressure” on tuition. He has said he’ll veto the so-called “pre-emption bill” which would override family leave ordinances in Minneapolis and Saint Paul and prohibit cities and counties from enacting a minimum wage higher than the state standard.