Minnesota Legislature Goes into Special Session

Theresa St. Aoro, Carol Bruner, Jean Birttnen, Jeff Birttnen, Eric Pascal and Pat Guernsey keep watch on Minnesota House proceedings Monday night.
Theresa St. Aoro, Carol Bruner, Jean Birttnen, Jeff Birttnen, Eric Pascal and Pat Guernsey keep watch on Minnesota House proceedings Monday night.

Minnesota lawmakers transitioned straight into a special session Tuesday to complete work on a $46 billion state budget.  House and Senate floor sessions will begin at 3 p.m. today and AFSCME members are welcome to come to the Capitol after work.

The agreement to go into overtime came with a handshake late Monday night between Republicans and Democrats, who spent hours locked in a private room trying to find middle ground before the midnight deadline.

Gov. Dayton announced they had reached a tentative agreement on a budget. Now those bills have to pass the House and Senate, and the Governor has to sign off on them. Those bills include funding for schools and human services; state agencies; our pensions and the work we do. Lawmakers also need to pass a bonding bill, a $660 million package of tax cuts, and transportation funding.

AFSCME members keep watch at the state Capitol Monday night as lawmakers near the end of the regular legislative session.
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The special session should be short: Lawmakers gave themselves one extra day to get that work done. The special session is expected to go into the night Tuesday and end by 7 a.m. Wednesday.

The budget bills that already have passed include: public safety, higher education, economic development, agriculture and the environment. Those go to Dayton for his signature or a veto.

AFSCME members were a strong presence at the Capitol Monday, wearing AFSCME green and carrying signs around the Rotunda that read “AFSCME is WATCHING.” They packed the House and Senate galleries until the closing moments at midnight.

AFSCME members will be watching to hold our elected officials accountable for a budget that takes care of all Minnesotans.