Legislators Await Special Session For Budget Approval
Leighton Interactive | May 23, 2019 AT 7:47 am
DETROIT LAKES, MN-- A special session still hasn't been set to address Minnesota's two-year spending plan. Lawmakers missed the May 20th deadline to put a budget in place, despite a last minute agreement reached by leaders. The behind the scenes negotiations failed to produce a bill that passed before the constitutionally mandated end to the regular legislative session.
Local legislator District 4 Senator Kent Eken of Twin Valley says it's important the Governor calls a special session sooner than later. Eken says there's a concern that the longer legislators are back home hearing from constituents who do not support what the Governor and legislative leaders agreed to they may return and change their vote of support to one of non-support.
He says another item that could throw a wrench into a special session outcome is approval of a bonding package for essential infrastructure projects which needs a super majority or two-thirds majority from both the House and Senate to pass. Eken says part of the agreement between the Governor, the Speaker of the House and the head of the Senate is passage of a 500-million dollar bonding bill. The Senator says this is where the minority party gets to weigh in and the GOP head of the House Representative Kurt Daudt has indicated he may not support the bonding bill. Eken says if the GOP leader holds members of the party to a party-line vote the budget agreement could unravel quickly. The City of Detroit Lakes is eagerly awaiting legislative approval of the tax bill which includes the special option sales tax the City passed to finance the building of a new police department facility.