The 2019 Special Session wrapped up early Saturday morning with a budget sent to Governor Walz after passing both the Minnesota House and Senate.
The House Democrats and Governor Walz’s insisting on tax increases forced the special session to happen. These tax increases were not necessary to fund our shared priorities and pass a budget for Minnesotans. Minnesota was in a strong position with more than a billion dollar surplus and record reserves, thus no need to raise a dime in taxes — much less the $12 billion in increases that passed the House.
The special session resulted in a budget that will raise the cost of health care by $2 billion on Minnesota families via the Sick Tax. Fortunately, Republican leadership helped blocked billions in tax increases and feel good/ineffective/radical gun control proposals that would hurt law-abiding Minnesotans.
The special session was called by Governor Walz after days of closed-door meetings, and a "tribunal" comprised of the Governor, the Speaker, and the Senate Majority Leader. Some conference committees did not adopt a single provision in a public setting, resulting in entire bills being decided behind closed doors. The largest budget bill was not publicly released until after 4PM—several hours after the special session had begun.
House Republicans successfully negotiated in exchange for a conclusion to the special session by 7AM changes that will enhance transparency next session, including a change to the House committee structure that will increase transparency and fix flaws in the structure Democrats implemented this year.
The process at the end of session was unacceptable and Democrats failed miserably in their promise to deliver better transparency. Thanks to efforts of House Republicans, next session should be more transparent for both the public and the legislators they send to St. Paul to represent their interests.
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