ST. PAUL, MN—Rep. Nels Pierson (R-Rochester) issued the following statement regarding the conclusion of the one day special session early Saturday morning.
“I’m incredibly disappointed with the way the process played out at the end of this year’s legislative session. Nearly all the decisions were made in private by the governor and two legislative leaders, which left the remainder of legislators locked out of discussions and stripped the process of transparency. It’s the constitutional duty of the legislature to write laws and send them to the governor for action, and it’s concerning that this year’s process involved a lot of that lawmaking authority in the hands of the governor,” said Pierson.
“I’m also very disappointed that the final budget includes a continuation of the sick tax, which is going to add over $2 billion to the cost of Minnesotans’ healthcare. Extending the sick tax will disproportionately hurt the sickest Minnesotans. It’s wrong to ask those with the highest medical bills to pay more in taxes,” concluded Pierson.
The special session was called by Governor Walz after days of closed-door meetings with legislative leaders. Some conference committees did not adopt a single provision in a public setting, resulting in entire bills being decided privately. The largest budget bill was not publicly released until after 4PM—several hours after the special session had begun.
During the special session, House Republicans successfully negotiated 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.