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With self-imposed deadline gone, Legislature still piecing together budget
By Ricky Campbell
The sun rises on the Capitol as the House debates the special session omnibus education finance bill May 24. Photo by Paul Battaglia

When Gov. Mark Dayton, a DFLer, and Republican leaders House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) announced they had reached a budget agreement with 15 minutes left in the 2017 legislative session, but warned they needed a special session, they attached a self-imposed deadline to the overtime: “no later than 7 a.m.” Wednesday.

The sun rose on Wednesday with the House still debating a $650 million tax relief bill, which it passed. Then 7 a.m. came and went — and the biennium plan on how the state should prioritize its services, programs and infrastructure was still in limbo.

After passing the taxes bill, the House waited until 2:30 p.m. to reconvene for debate on what Rep. Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska), the House Transportation Finance Committee chair, called, “the largest, most robust transportation bill in the history of the state of Minnesota.” The House passed the omnibus transportation finance SSHF3 bill 74-54.

Down the hall, the Senate passed the tax bill with an amendment allowing bars to close at 4 a.m. the Monday after the Super Bowl, which means the bill must go back to the House for approval.

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House repasses tax bill amended with extended Super Bowl bar hours
By Lee Ann Schutz

Omnibus tax bill amended to allow for bars to be open until 4 a.m. Feb. 2-Feb.5 to allow more time for fan revelry.

House again OKs transportation plan heavy on borrowing, General Funds shifts
By Jonathan Avise

The $5.9 billion, two-year transportation funding bill passed on a 74-54 vote proposes to shift $300 million in auto-related sales tax revenues toward road and bridge construction funding.

A hostile start to special session sees two omnibus bills passed before 7 a.m. deadline
By Mike Cook

One night of overtime was not nearly enough for the Legislature to complete its crafting of a 2018-19 biennial state budget.

Compromise education bill passed by House in special session
By Nick Longworth

After weeks of negotiations over the best approach to reduce the achievement gap, lawmakers passed a compromise bill early Wednesday that they believe Gov. Mark Dayton would ultimately sign.

‘Bipartisan,’ trimmed down special session tax bill gets House approval
By Lee Ann Schutz

Called the largest tax relief package in 20 years, end-of-session negotiations produced a tentative agreement between leadership and the governor calling for $650 million in tax relief over the 2017-18 biennium.

Legislative leaders expect special session to last through the night
By Mike Cook

One overtime may not be enough for the Legislature to complete its crafting of a biennial state budget.

Governor, legislative leaders agree on special session to finish work
By Ricky Campbell

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative leaders announced shortly before the curtain closed on the 2017 legislative session that they had reached an overall budget agree...

House, Senate pass LCCMR conference committee report
By Jonathan Mohr

More than $64 million would be appropriated to benefit the environment and natural resources.

Midnight — and end of session — nears with most of budget left unfinished
By Ricky Campbell

With mere hours left before the Legislature’s constitutionally mandated adjournment of midnight Monday, major pieces of the two-year $46 billion budget remain untouched. ...

More court funding, no protestor measure in judiciary and public safety agreement
By Mike Cook

Additional dollars for the judiciary, tweaked language regarding the Appleton prison, and rulemaking related to driver’s licenses for undocumented residents are three of the high-profile items in the final version of the omnibus judiciary and public safety bill.

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Priority Dailies

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Omnibus bills provide framework for the state's biennial budget plan
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