When the Senate Republicans passed the State Employee Contract, they did so with an amendment to only agree to the increase or the first year of the contract, but the interpretation of Office of Management and Budget Commissioner Myron Frans is they are only allowed a an affirmative or negation vote without substitution. Since the matter passed both houses the contract as written is ratified.
In response, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa) fired off the following. “There is no room for a reasonable person to ‘interpret’ the recent action of the Minnesota Senate when it comes to the state employee contracts. The plain language in the bill was clear: ratify the first year of the contract but forgo the 2.5% raise for the second year. The Walz administration would look very tone deaf if they interpreted this action as full ratification of the contract, even if they invent a legal framework to justify their decision. It’s impossible to justify asking the 650,000 Minnesotans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own to help shoulder the burden of the extra costs of this contract. In fact, there are 12 unemployed Minnesotans for every state employee who would receive a raise this July.”
It’s clear this will put a huge monkey wrench into the negotiations for a future special session. Especially, when some Republicans want to curtail Governor TIm Walz’ (DFL-MN) executive authority. The problem is there is not a similar disposition in the house and so not legislation will emanate from it, but it will definitely impact negotiations.