Minnesota legislative leaders and Governor Tim Walz met again Thursday to see whether lawmakers in the divided Capitol can resolve unfinished business and return for a special session.
Governor, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, DFL-Brooklyn Park, and Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller to shape the progress made by conference committee leaders in bridging the gap in plans to fund education, public safety, transportation, and health Virtually met on Thursday afternoon. and human services. Aim for bills totaling over $3 billion.
State lawmakers were unable to reach deals on the bills before the legislative deadline last month and proposals for additional spending as well as a $4 billion tax relief plan stuck in the last hours as leaders in the House said they would complete the bills. Want to pass the package.
This week, the chairmen of the Transportation and Public Safety committees met with the leaders in private. Walz said lawmakers who wrote the Education and Health and Human Services bills were due to meet him in the coming days.
Walz told reporters on Thursday morning that he hoped the leader could work out a deal that would allow lawmakers to return to St. And he encouraged Minnesotans to pressure their lawmakers to tell them they want them to come back for a special session.
“I would just encourage Minnesota not to accept the status quo on this,” he said, adding, “This is work the legislature has been doing since January and we want to bring them back and do that.”
Democrats in the Capitol, along with some Republicans, have supported the push to wrap up nearly $4 billion in spending bills and bring back legislators with a tax bill and a bill for local jobs and projects. But Miller and his GOP caucus have been less enthusiastic.
Miller hasn’t weighed in on the meetings publicly in more than a week. And before the legislature adjourned in May, he said he suspected lawmakers might finish their work in overtime.
Other Republicans said they would prefer the next legislature to convene a historic $9.2 billion budget surplus in January.
“My components are fine, just leave the money on the bottom line for later,” Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, said Tuesday.
Hartman said Tuesday that committee leaders were approaching behind-the-scenes deals, and thought they might make way for a special session later this month.
“I think there’s a ton of bipartisan agreement to go back and I really think we’re 10 days to two weeks away from finishing all the outstanding work,” Hortmann said. “I want people to know that we are still working and hope to conclude and settle the agreement we have reached.”