Governor Mark Dayton made it clear on Tuesday that he still wants a special session. He says the bonding bill which failed to pass in the regular session’s final hours and the tax bill that was vetoed because of wording errors have important benefits for many Minnesotans.
“It’s very disappointing to me that there’s not a mutual interest in achieving that,” Dayton said referencing the stalled talks with Republicans over calling the session. Dayton, like governors before him, does not want to call a special session without an agreement with legislative leaders on the bills that will be passed.
Dayton said that Republicans should delay any more special session talks until House Speaker Kurt Daudt is finished with a primary election in August. The Republican leader faces a primary challenge from a conservative who is critical of Daudt’s attempts to compromise with Dayton over taxes and transportation issues.
Other special session issues and video of Dayton’s news conference.
Republicans and business leaders have been pushing for including other topics in the session. They would like a bill that lets the state overrule local laws on raising minimum wage and granting sick time to all workers. Minneapolis recently passed a sick time ordinance and may have a referendum on a $15 an hour minimum wage. St. Paul is drafting an earned sick and safe time ordinance.
Dayton is balking at that suggestion. He says the issue hasn’t really been discussed and can’t be given careful consideration in a one-day special session. “A special session is about things that have already been debated.”
On yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down Texas laws that restrict abortions, Dayton said the fact that the court ruled 5-4 when most of its decisions of late were split 4-4 is significant. He expects that similar restrictions on abortion and the use of fetal tissue will still be brought up in the Minnesota legislature. “I vetoed a couple measures in 2011, 2012 that did reach my desk that would have restricted the rights of women in Minnesota to choose their own destinies. And I will continue to do so.”