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St. Paul – The special legislative session to finish work on the state budget concluded early Friday morning with passage of a $988 million bonding bill to fund infrastructure improvements throughout the state. The special session was made necessary by failure to pass budget bills before Monday’s constitutional deadline to adjourn by midnight
"This session was a very good session for my district,” said Rep. Ben Lien (DFL – Moorhead) “Sen. Eken and I worked hard to secure full funding for the 20/21 Street underpass and $3 million for the Border City Enterprise and Development Zone."
In reflecting on the session’s shortcomings, Rep. Lien thought Minnesota’s public colleges and universities were left behind. Both the Minnesota State and University of Minnesota systems were funded several million dollars below their amounts requested and the recommendation of Gov. Dayton.
"I would have liked to have seen a better bill for higher education. The final bill passed by the Legislature will cause budget cuts to campuses across the state and tuition increases for students,” he said. “With a $1.6 billion surplus to begin the session, this is absolutely unacceptable and we need to do better. I look forward to returning in 2018 to work on this issue for people to better their lives and keep Minnesota's economy strong."
Gov. Dayton has not indicated whether he will sign or veto the budget bills, and he has 14 days to decide. The 2018 legislative session will get underway February 20, 2018.
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