ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC, AP) – It’s the final day of the legislative session in Minnesota, and lawmakers are rushing to wrap up details of budget compromise before the clock strikes midnight, marking the end of the session.
But the chance of finalizing $48 billion worth of finance bills is close to none.
“There is no chance,” said Rep. Greg Davids, (R) Preston.
The governor is likely going to call a special session Thursday, overtime for lawmakers to finalize work as they continue to hash out details of the ten finance bills.
“The conference Committees are imploding and so there will be a special session and it’s not if or when but how long,” said Davids.
So far, there’s been only one breakthrough. House-Senate conference committee has reached a bipartisan agreement on compromise legislation aimed at stopping Minnesota’s opioid crisis. The bill imposes sharply higher registration fees on drug makers and distributors to raise around $21 million annually. The money will go toward reducing opioid deaths and overdoses, and to counties to help reimburse them for their growing child protection costs resulting from the crisis.
When DFL Gov. Tim Walz and top legislative leaders announced the budget agreement Sunday night, there was some pushback from Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt.
He issued a statement saying in part that Republicans will not vote to accelerate a budget deal that raises health care costs. It takes 81 votes to pass a bonding bill and there are 75 DFLers in the house, and Daudt is strongly hinting he will not deliver the minimum six Republican votes needed to pass the bill.
“He can say no, and if he can all of his troops, his members to do what he asks, then we’re done. He wants to go ahead and say that was the better choice than the things that we put into the bills that would’ve answered the needs of the cities and all the local areas around,” said Rep. Duane Sauke, (DFL) Rochester.