May 24, 2019 06:24 PM
The special session of the Minnesota Legislature now underway appears likely to last at least three days and run into the holiday weekend.
Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt told reporters just before the session was called to order Friday that his caucus has no plans to supply enough votes to suspend the normal procedural rules so that it could be kept to one day.
Democratic House Speaker Melissa Hortman told reporters that if Republicans didn't agree to suspend the rules, the session would run Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Each day the Minnesota Legislature meets in special session costs taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. The totals below are a combination of per diem and mileage reimbursements paid to lawmakers as well as other expenses. Note: The cost for the House of Representatives during special sessions on days beyond the first day are about half the first day's cost.
Daudt says lawmakers need time to consider the big budget bills that must pass during the special session. He objected to how they were crafted behind closed doors, and that the massive health and human services budget bill still had not been published.
The Senate, meanwhile, convened Friday morning and took up the omnibus agriculture, rural development and housing bill.
On Friday afternoon, the Legislature passed its first two bills of the special session and sent them to Gov. Tim Walz for his signature.
One bill funds agriculture, rural development and housing programs. The other funds clean water, habitat and arts programs. Both passed by wide margins. House Republicans voiced no objections to suspending the rules to pass the first two bills, which are relatively small and noncontroversial. Deputy Minority Leader Anne Neu said her members had had enough time to study the bills before voting.
The Associated Press
Updated: May 24, 2019 06:24 PM
Created: May 24, 2019 10:37 AM
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