Minnesota Legislature Stands Adjourned – for now!
The Minnesota Legislature met its constitutional deadline for adjournment of midnight, May 23, and adjourned as required. The final hours of the regular legislative session were anti-climactic, as the major appropriations bills for the State’s next fiscal year beginning July 1 awaited certain veto by Governor Dayton. In this last week of the session, the gap between the Governor and the Legislature had narrowed, but never completely closed. While the Republicans in the Legislature proposed a biennial budget of $33.9 billion, the Governor’s budget was stuck at $35.8 billion. A focus of dispute was the Governor’s proposal for an income tax increase on high-income Minnesotans, which the Legislature has been unwilling to accept.
Negotiations between the Governor and the Legislature will resume on Friday, May 27. Meanwhile, legislative leaders from both caucuses will be travelling around the state highlighting, depending on their perspectives, either the accomplishments or lack thereof in the 2011 regular session. Governor Dayton has the power to call the Legislature back into Special Session at any time. However, he has indicated he would not do so until there is budget agreement with legislative leaders. The state faces a partial government shutdown if a balanced budget is not passed by July 1.
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