ST. PAUL - Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, said he will decline to receive the $77 in per diem compensation legislators would be eligible to receive during an anticipated special session.
“I do not feel it is appropriate to receive extra compensation as we work overtime on the budget,” Urdahl said. “Many Minnesotans are already having a difficult time in this economy and I can't ask them to pay me extra during a special session."
The fiscal calendar ends June 30 and lawmakers are waiting for Gov. Mark Dayton to call a special session so a state budget can be put in place for the upcoming two-year cycle. Dayton vetoed nine of the 10 budget bills the Legislature passed during the 2011 regular session and the state faces a shutdown in July if solutions are not found for enacting the remaining areas. Other measures, including the Legacy Fund bill Urdahl authored, are at a standstill with the unresolved budget.
A budget solution hinges on finding resolution in these two approaches: The Legislature’s proposal allows for a 6-percent General Fund spending growth in the upcoming biennium, while remaining within the $34 billion in projected state revenue to avoid tax increases. The governor favors spending nearly $2 billion beyond that threshold, raising taxes to help pay for it.