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Legislative Update - May 26, 2017
We adjourned the special session just before 3 a.m. this morning, having passed all the finance bills and sending them to the Governor's desk.
There were significant issues with these finance bills, like Republicans choosing not to fund wage increases for home health care workers (an industry in crisis due to low pay and long hours). Republicans, in an unethical and cruel move, also pitted sick time benefits of workers in Minneapolis/St. Paul against union contract ratification, forcing legislators to pick which group of workers they want to support.
The Governor has said he will veto that bill.
While the finance bills contained objectionable provisions, there was broad support for the last bill we took up in the special session.
Our final piece of business was to pass a $1 billion bonding bill. After not passing one last session, there was pressure to get it done so infrastructure projects around the state could continue. While the original bill was far too small to get the necessary support to pass, I was pleased to cast my vote for this version. It includes bonding funds for the Orange Line, Mall of America Transit Station, and Dakota County's top priority, the Lake Byllesby Dam.
This was a difficult session, which stemmed from the Republican majority's unwillingness to collaborate. All the bills are in Gov. Dayton's hands now. He has three days to sign bills presented to him before the end of regular session and 14 days to sign bills we passed in special session.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
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