Dayton mulling June special session

Gov. Mark Dayton talks to reporters following an event at Land O’ Lakes, Inc. headquarters in Arden Hills. Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Gov. Mark Dayton says he plans to tell legislative leaders next week what his requirements would be for a potential special session.

Many lawmakers want another chance to act on the bonding bill that failed to make it to the governor’s desk in the closing minutes of the 2016 session.

Dayton told reporters Wednesday that he will start thinking about a special session this weekend, after he’s acted on the remaining bills on his desk, including the tax bill and supplemental budget bill.

He said he’d prefer to have the special session in June.

“We’ll sit down with the four leaders, see if that’s agreeable including those requirements and see if we have enough of an agreement to have a special session,” Dayton said.

Dayton said legislative leaders would need to agree in advance on a limited agenda. He said construction work inside the Capitol would again require the House to find an alternative meeting space space for a special session.

Dayton said one of his requirements for a special session would be to include the University of Minnesota health sciences building project in the bonding bill. He declined to list any other must-haves.

Meanwhile, House Republicans made their case for a special session by drawing attention to a dangerous stretch of road that they want upgraded in a bonding bill. They held a news conference along Highway 12 in Maple Plain with people who lost family members in fatal crashes there.

“We didn’t come here to play a blame game today,” said House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Zimmerman, “We came here to encourage the governor and others to come together to fund the necessary dollars that are needed to fix the problems here along Highway 12.”

Daudt also issued a news release in which he did point fingers. He squarely blamed Senate Democrats for standing in the way of the 11th hour bonding bill.

House Minority leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis, said in a statement the state needs a comprehensive transportation funding package. He squarely blamed Republicans for not getting one passed this year.

“Procrastination and brinksmanship don’t build a single mile of road,” Thissen said, “Minnesotans are tired of it, and they should be.”

  • wjc

    “We didn’t come here to play a blame game today”

    – Hilarious!

    • Mike W.

      No, they went there to use sympathetic victims of tragic accidents to try and garner public support. Big difference. (/sarcasm)

  • jimwic

    Golly Daudt, if you had not signed a NO NEW TAX PLEDGE you could have passed a comprehensive transportation funding package.

  • Sans Comedy

    “We didn’t come here to play a blame game today. We’re too busy with our procrastination and obstruction games.”

  • Mark Gruben

    Paul Thissen is wrong: it’s neither procrastination nor brinksmanship. It’s pig-headedness on the part of the GOP. Why on earth should Minnesotans pay for a special session under those circumstances?