ST. PAUL, MN—Rep. Barb Haley (R-Red Wing) issued the following statement regarding the conclusion of the one day special session early Saturday morning.
“I’m glad both sides came together to compromise on a state budget. We were able to fund our priorities – education, public safety, and road and bridge infrastructure – without tax increases," said Haley. “I’m especially pleased that a 20-cent per gallon gas tax increase, more expensive license tab fees, nursing home cuts, and numerous highly controversial policies were defeated and will not become law this year. We made significant progress in passing legislation to address the opioid crisis, implement reforms to ensure safety for our aging loved ones, and regulate the pharmaceutical industry. We also will continue building on our progress to lower health insurance premiums by extending our reinsurance program, which has proven effective each of the last two years. These are certainly victories for all Minnesotans, but I’m disappointed the sick tax will be continued, which will make every visit to the doctor more expensive.”
“Although these outcomes were good, the end of session process was very concerning to me,” added Haley.
The one day 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, for Health and Human Services, 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, and fix flaws in the House committee structure that the DFL majority implemented this year.