We completed the regular 89th legislative session last night as required by Minnesota’s constitution.
We accomplished a lot of positive things this session, however I want to address what is in the headlines today with respect to a capital investment and transportation funding package.
The clock ran out and that area remains unfinished work. I remain cautiously optimistic that we will work through this bump in the road and deliver badly needed new funds for our roads and bridges, and capital investments in other elements of government infrastructure.
The reason I remain optimistic despite the current frustration here in St. Paul is that in the House that package received broad, bipartisan support (91-39). The 91 "yes" votes, included 58 votes from my GOP colleagues and 33 votes from my DFL colleagues.
Despite what optics often suggest and regardless of party affiliation, we do agree on a lot of things down here. The bonding and transportation bill was one of those items.
So, what happened? It’s probably easiest to view this from a football perspective, with one twist. Both the House and Senate teams play for Minnesota and the game needed to finish with a tie score so all Minnesotan’s could win.
We were in the very last few minutes of the game. Both teams have scored lots of points, however the Senate team needed to simply kick an extra point to tie up the game. Rather than kick the easy extra point, they ran a two-point play, proceeded to fumble the ball and the clock ran out.
The final score: Stupid 1, Common Sense 0. However, it’s not over yet, we can get to a tie score.
Please join me in urging the governor to call a very limited special session right now to allow kicking that extra point so all Minnesotan’s can finish the season with a win their column.