Late Sunday night Senate Majority leader Tom Bakk sounded like a man resigned to a special session on education. Governor Mark Dayton has threatened to veto the education bill because it doesn’t contain funding for universal pre-kindergarten, his top priority this session.
“I indicated to the governor today that that’s a bit of a risky proposition but I certainly support the governor and indicated to him that when he reaches an agreement with the House, I’d be delighted to come back to a special session that he calls and I expect that the governor will have secured the votes in the House and the Senate to pass his agreed upon language with the House Republicans.”
The problem with a special session is where to meet. Workers will begin wheeling desks out of the House chamber Monday night at midnight to keep the Capitol renovations on schedule. Governor Dayton said the legislature could meet in a tent on the Capitol lawn. Bakk said meeting on the lawn “seems unlikely.” “The constitution says that we have to meet in the city of St. Paul. We will meet someplace in St. Paul.”
Early Monday morning the House passed the education bill 71-59, well short of the 90 votes needed to override a veto. On Monday afternoon, the Senate passed the education bill 52-14 without the funding Dayton had requested. The margin was more than the 45 votes needed to override a veto, however Dayton could wait until after the session ends at midnight Monday and there would be no opportunity for an override vote.
Video of Dayton’s veto threat
“I will veto. I repeat again, I will veto a $400 million bill that leaves a billion dollars on the bottom line while the $171 million for universal pre-k for four year olds – I mean it is just not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to the people of Minnesota, or to the four year olds that depend on this.”
Video At top: Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk talks about a special session
Video Below: Full news conferences with Bakk and Senate Minority Leader David Hann