Minnesota House of Representatives

Menu

Public Information Services Menu

Calling a special session

Published (3/28/2008)
By Mike Cook
Share on: 



The power to call a special session could be in the hands of more than just the governor.

Awaiting action by the House Rules and Legislative Administration Committee is HF2554, sponsored by Rep. Lyndon Carlson (DFL-Crystal). It was approved March 25 by the House Ways and Means Committee on a divided voice vote.

The bill proposes a constitutional amendment be put before state voters at this year’s general election. It would allow the Legislature to be called into session by the leadership in both bodies or by a petition among the majority of members in each body. Now, only the governor can call a special session.

A fiscal note indicates a $2,000 cost to the Office of the Secretary of State, money it could absorb in its current allocation. The cumulative cost for counties would be approximately $102,000 for auditors to add the question to optical scan ballot cards, program machines, count votes, print and publishing.

“The proposal does not change any of the powers of the governor, relative to being able to call a special session, but it would provide more balance of power between the legislative branch and the governor in the sense that if the Legislature saw a need for a special session they could move forward with that,” Carlson said.

He said the bill is needed because historically the Legislature has had a difficult time determining when a special session should be called or what topics would be addressed. “Any bill may be considered whose subject is stated in the agreement or order that convened the special session,” the bill states.

A session would be limited to seven days; however, Rep. Dennis Ozment (R-Rosemount) noted there is no provision indicating the session could not be extended another seven days, thus creating a full-time Legislature seven days at a time.

“It hasn’t happened in the 33 states that have the right for the legislature to call a special session,” Carlson said.

A companion bill, SF3072, sponsored by Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope), awaits action by the Senate Rules and Administration Committee.

Session Weekly More...


Session Weekly Home



Related Stories


First Reading: A grand finale
Foregoing the usual partisan warfare, all sides declare victory in 2008 session
(view full story) Published 5/30/2008

At Issue: Crossing the partisan divide
Concern over REAL ID makes for strange bedfellows
(view full story) Published 5/30/2008

At Issue: Taming the ‘Wild West’
Members aspire to streamline the legislative process
(view full story) Published 5/30/2008

Stepping Down: Three more say goodbye
Heidgerken, A. Peterson and Ruth make late departure announcements
(view full story) Published 5/30/2008

Minnesota Index
Figures and statistics on the 2008 legislative session
(view full story) Published 5/30/2008

Stepping Down: Reassessing priorities
After years of public service, Berns steps down to focus on his family
(view full story) Published 5/16/2008

Resources: Tallying the votes
What you should know first about how your legislator votes
(view full story) Published 5/9/2008

At Issue: A little-used tool in the toolbox
Governor can use unallotment to balance state’s budget if legislators do not
(view full story) Published 5/2/2008

Stepping Down: Seizing an unexpected opportunity
Paulsen leaving state House to run for the U.S. House
(view full story) Published 5/2/2008

Feature: Leap of faith
Legislators find political refuge in fellowship
(view full story) Published 5/2/2008

Stepping Down: Back to Bemidji
Moe takes a break from politics to focus on life at home
(view full story) Published 4/25/2008

At Issue: ‘Garbage’ or good legislation?
Omnibus bill can be one legislator’s junk, another’s treasure
(view full story) Published 4/11/2008

Stepping Down: Looking for better balance
After 12 years, Tingelstad to focus on family
(view full story) Published 4/4/2008

Stepping Down: Do right by the people
DeLaForest thankful for the ‘awesome responsibility’ of serving
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008

Stepping Down: Focus on family time
Finstad leaving to concentrate on his children
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008

Stepping Down: New house means leaving the House
Personal move leads to a professional change for Kranz
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008

Stepping Down: In the middle, a man apart
After 24 years in the House, Ozment prepares to step down
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008

Stepping Down: Rejuvenation for Walker
First black woman to serve in the House hopes for renewal time
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008

Minnesota Index
Session 2008 figures and statistics.
(view full story) Published 2/15/2008

Public Information Services  ·   175 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN 55155   ·   Public.Information@house.mn