Our conversations with different sides on negotiations for completing their work on the State Budget for 2021-2022 is that Higher Education, Commerce, Agriculture and the Legacy are close to being completed and all other committees are far apart.
The deadline of June 4th looms ahead but the path to reaching it seem clouded by muck and mire. The fact, of state employees receiving notices of pending lay-offs on June 1st, only heighten the showdown and set the stage for some type of monkey wrench to foster a stalemate.
The fence may be down at the State Capitol, but that doesn’t mean the fences have come down between the two sides in negotiations.
We often stress this fact, the Republican Party is the anti-government party and when they are in charge, they support Omnibus bills, which reduce government cost and when they are out of power the same group largely opposes government spending. Their support is solely based on where they sit.
We have criticized the process currently underway and believe rank and file legislators should do the same. Since, it is solely in the hands of Governor Tim Walz (DFL-MN) to call a Special Session, which he will be required to do by the State Constitution, because of his Executive Powers Authority, we believe he should make the call earlier. This way everything will be official and the Conference Committees can be reformed and working Groups done away with and the Open Meeting Law reapplied to the decision-making process. This will force public meeting and actual approval of the Conference Committee report, floor action and not just the will of the Triumvirate of Walz, House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-36B, Brooklyn Park) and Senate majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-09, Nisswa).
Calling the Special Session for June 7th gives the legislature a week to do their work in the full light of day, or adjourning the session a week after it is called on the 14th does the same.