Chaos At End Of MN Legislative Session – Bonding, Transportation Bills Die

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Thissen and Daudt in closing minutes of 2016 session

House Media

Thissen and Daudt in closing minutes of 2016 session

Chaos reigned again at the close of Minnesota’s legislative session. A bonding bill that was made public in the last hour of the session failed when the House adjourned before the Senate could send back an amended version of the bill. Time ran out before the Senate could rescind the amendment.

Governor Mark Dayton did not say whether he would call a special session to reconsider the bonding bill. On Monday he said he would meet with the House and Senate Republican and DFL leaders before making any decision.

“Cover the clock. Cover the clock,” said someone a few seconds before midnight in the Senate chamber as Senators tried to remove the amendment from the just passed bonding bill. A few minutes later Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk realizing the midnight deadline had passed, called for the Senate to adjourn until Monday.

The Senate can meet on Monday, but it cannot pass any bills.

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen scolded Republicans for the end of session chaos pointing out that the DFL had asked for rules that would give members 24 hours to read amendments before they were voted on. House members had only a few hours to digest a 599 page supplemental spending bill and only minutes to read an 80 page bonding bill. Thissen called the entire exercise a “sad day” for the House.

Speaking very fast, House Speaker Kurt Daudt tried to push the bonding bill through the House. Members did not have copies of the bill and the online version of the bill and its amendments were not working fast enough for everyone to read them. At one point DFL members refused to cast a vote on the bill, forcing Daudt to allow amendments to it. With little time left, members had to resort to handwritten or oral amendments on the complicated bill.

The bill eventually passed the House with the needed “super majority” needed for bonding bills, but then died in the Senate.

House and Senate leaders came close to agreement on a transportation bill but could not agree on how to fund it.

A $257 tax cut package did pass and is on its way to Dayton’s desk. Dayton says there are many good provisions in the bill, however he is not sure if he will sign it. That’s because of a provision giving approximately $35 million in tax breaks to tobacco manufacturers. On Monday morning Dayton said he would make a decision on signing it and the other session bills in the next 48 hours.

Dayton also was not sure if he was going to sign the police body cam bill which allows police to review video from their body cams before filing their reports. However, the public is not given that privilege before making any witness statements.


At top: House Minority Leader Paul Thissen scolds Republicans
Chaos in the House with bonding bill
Time runs out on bonding bill in MN Senate
DFL’s Laundry List Of How GOP Failed Minnesota In Legislative Session
4-Year-Olds Need Licensed Teachers Too Says Rep. Murphy

Bonding Bill Chaos In MN House – Full Debate

An 80 page bonding bill is brought to the House floor with 40 minutes left in the session. Chaos ensues.

Time Runs Out On Bonding Bill In MN Senate
Midnight arrives before Minnesota’s Senate can pass a bonding bill.
Senators were apparently not aware that the House had already adjourned, meaning their only real choices were to pass the bill or not. Instead an amendment was added to fund the southwest light rail so it would be eligible for matching federal funds.

When Senators finally realized the House had adjourned, a move was made to remove the amendment, but it was too late since the midnight deadline had passed. Minnesota’s constitution says all bills must be passed by that midnight deadline.

Instead the Senate adjourned a few minutes after midnight.

DFL’s Laundry List Of How GOP Failed Minnesota In Legislative Session

House Minority Leader Paul Thissen reads a laundry list of things Republicans failed to fund this legislative session despite having a 900 million dollar surplus.

4-Year-Olds Need Licensed Teachers Too Says Rep. Murphy
Rep. Erin Murphy is upset that Republicans have dropped a requirement for licensed teachers for pre-k education. She says 4 year olds need licensed teachers just as much if not more than 10th graders. She reasons that you don’t give 4 year olds unlicensed doctors, you shouldn’t give them unlicensed teachers.

Rep. Jenifer Loon defends using unlicensed teachers that happen to be non-union.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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