2022 legislative session now over, special session still possible
This year’s legislative session has come to an end at the State Capitol, and parties weren’t able to come to an agreement ton several key budget issues.
As of Monday morning, it’s now up to Gov. Tim Walz to decide if a special session will be called.
Legislators tell 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS offers were coming in as late as 10:30 p.m. Sunday, and everyone worked as long as possible, however they just couldn’t get it done in time.
Now, Walz says a special session is likely needed to pass this spending bill after previously pledging not to.
He will be meeting with top state lawmakers from both parties later Monday morning.
“It makes it frustrating for all of us because legislators and staff have been working very, very long day and late night trying to get this done,” said Sen. Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R).
“It’s a failure on all of us,” said Sen. Minority Leader Melisa Lopez Franzen (DFL). “So we can act like its the House or the Senate, you know, guilt or what not, but it’s really a failure of all of us.”
During the weekend, lawmakers appeared to have reached an agreement on a major tax relief plan – cutting $4 billion in taxes across the state, and eliminating a social security income tax.
Both parties celebrated and signed the tentative agreement, but without lawmakers coming to an agreement in other areas of this spending bill, those tax cuts won’t go through either.
Before the 12 a.m. deadline, leaders say they were getting close on education and transportation agreements, but have a lot of work to do when it comes to how they will spend the state’s surplus on public safety, as well as health and human services.
“We are too close to leave all these good things on the table,” said Gov. Walz. “And it’s our job to do. It’s not your job to come up here for five months and then go home.”
Lawmakers will soon return to the Capitol, and Walz says he’d like to see legislators keep working on these bills during a short special session.
In a news release issued by the House of Representatives, members are expected to ask Walz to call for a special session.
Speaker Melissa Hortman and Majority Leader Ryan Winkler issued the following statements regarding the session:
“All session, House DFLers have been focused on reducing costs for families, supporting workers, investing in our students, and improving public safety. We’ve worked with Republicans in good faith to find as many agreements as possible because Minnesotans expect us to work together, deliver results, and build a better future for everyone. We are nearing agreements on $4 billion in investments to address the challenges Minnesotans are facing, and we will need a little more time to complete our work. House Democrats will continue working to advance policies that improve people’s lives.”Speaker Hortman
“Members of the House DFL majority have spent the past four years working hard on behalf of the people of Minnesota to deliver better schools, health care, jobs, and economic security. We have made important progress to improve the lives of people throughout our state, from Bemidji to Bloomington, from Dilworth to Duluth, from Mankato to Minneapolis, and St. Paul to St. Cloud. This House DFL Majority cares about people and we’ve always put people first, and we can be proud that we fought for the people of Minnesota up until the final seconds of this session. In a society where the ultra-wealthy and big corporations bend the rules in their favor, it’s hard to make progress for workers and families, but it’s a privilege to do the work.”Majority Leader Winkler
Republicans have said they were open to listening to options.
House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) issued the following statement as the session came to an end:
“House Democrats failed Minnesotans this session by failing to address our public safety crisis, and doing nothing to put money back in the pockets of families who are struggling with record inflation and skyrocketing gas prices in the Biden-Walz economy. When Republicans return next year in the majority we will deliver record tax cuts — without holding it hostage for new government spending like Democrats did all session long. We will prioritize public safety, hold criminals accountable, and invest in our law enforcement. Minnesotans deserved better than the politics and cynical games that House Democrats played this year — Republicans will focus on the top issues that Minnesota families care about, and pass bills that will make their communities safer and their lives more affordable.”Kurt Daudt
As previously reported Sunday, Walz signed a bill nicknamed “Free the Growler”, which reformed the state’s liquor laws. It raises the annual cap on craft beer production from 20,000 barrels to 150,000 barrels, allowing some of the state’s biggest breweries to sell beer in to-go containers on site.
The law also lets breweries sell beer on-site in smaller containers, meaning they can opt to sell cans in four-packs or six-packs instead of 32-ounce cans or growlers.