The 2021 legislative session ended with a whimper Monday afternoon, ending the least productive session in more than 40 years with zero budget bills sent to Governor Walz’s desk. Because of this, the legislature will once again be forced to meet in special session to finish its work—likely sometime in June.
As has been the case in recent years, end-of-session negotiations took place throughout the weekend with three individuals making decisions behind closed doors. These three individuals included Governor Walz, Speaker Hortman, and Senate Majority Leader Gazelka.
Despite not finishing their work on time, the three leaders announced that they have reached an agreement on the parameters of a budget deal.
This lack of transparency is extremely concerning and has resulted in what can only be characterized as a badly negotiated budget deal—at least from the perspective of freedom-loving Minnesotans.
The negotiated deal includes no end to the emergency powers, gives the governor control over federal COVID funding, does nothing to stop the California Cars mandate, and allows Governor Walz to have full veto power over any policy in final budget deals.
This “agreement” amounts to an unconstitutional line-item veto for policy, even though the Governor only has the power to veto budget line-items and an unconstitutional arrangement that allows Walz to spend up to $500 million in federal COVID dollars even though the constitution makes clear that the legislature has jurisdiction over spending.
Why would legislative leaders agree to a “deal” that effectively silences an entire branch of government?
I am shocked that this was agreed to and hope that both parties will come together and adjust the agreement before the special session.
Stay tuned for more information on negotiations as we get closer to a special session.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to share your thoughts, questions, and concerns as it relates to state government. I can be reached at 651-296-4229 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great day,