The Latest: OT tentative after session ends in whimper
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Latest on the Minnesota Legislature (all times local):
As veteran Sen. Tom Bakk puts it, the 2019 regular session of the Minnesota ended with a whimper.
It also ended with no firm word on how lawmakers will complete their unfinished bills to meet the goal of holding and completing a special session this week.
In the closing hours Monday night, the Legislature approved only one of the big budget bills that constitute the most important work of the session. By Tuesday afternoon, lawmakers were still waiting to hear from their leaders about the next steps.
When Gov. Tim Walz and the House Democratic and Senate GOP majorities leaders announced their $48 billion budget Sunday evening, they hoped that the details could be resolved in time for a one-day special session Thursday. That date still looked tentative by Tuesday.
The Minnesota Legislature is headed into overtime.
Legislators adjourned their regular session at midnight, but so much work remains that they’ll need to come back in special session in the days ahead.
It’s just not clear when. Gov. Tim Walz and leaders of the House and Senate struck and overall budget agreement Sunday evening, but conference committees didn’t have enough time to complete work on major budget bills by the adjournment deadline.
The overall deal raises spending by about 6%, in part by turning to a rainy day fund. Republicans blocked a gas tax increase, but Democrats achieved a major priority by extending a health care tax that was due to expire.