The “Will there be? Won’t there be?” drama about a potential special session of the legislature to address the unfinished bonding bill just got juicier with a press conference this afternoon by Governor Dayton. In his press conference and letter to legislative leaders, the Governor outlined his requirements for a special session.
The Governor also indicated that there are problems with the tax bill that are preventing him from signing it unless the legislature agrees to fixes in a special session. Apparently, there is a drafting error in the bill related to charitable gambling that could result in a $100 million loss of revenue to the state over the next biennium. This loss of state revenue would be “unacceptable” to the Governor. Additionally, the Governor objects to a provision that repeals the Minnesota State High School League exemption from sales tax. The Governor has until Monday to sign the bill, veto it or work out some agreement with the legislature to fix these items. In a letter in response to the Governor, Speaker Daudt indicated a willingness to fix these issues with the tax bill in a special session.
Remember — the $20 million increase in LGA funding that the CGMC fought for this session is included in the tax bill whose fate is now at the mercy of these discussions.
The Governor’s other demands for a special session include objections to earmarks in the bonding bill for transportation, as well as a demand that metro transit, including light rail, be addressed. He also requires that several bonding projects be added the bonding bill, most notably a number of higher ed projects. He is also demanding additional supplemental budget spending, including a reversal of the cuts to the Minnesota Investment Fund and the Job Creation Fund.