Special session called for 10 a.m. Friday

Room 10 of the State of Building
The Minnesota House will meet in Room 10 of the State of Building for the upcoming special session.

This should be interesting. In the Star Tribune, Ricardo Lopez and Patrick Condon write: “‘Gov. Mark Dayton and state lawmakers struck a final deal Thursday night to finish the state budget, setting the table for a Friday special session where approval of money for environmental and agricultural programs is still in doubt. … After a four-hour meeting with his colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk said he could not guarantee the bill’s passage. ‘I don’t know if it’s going to pass,’ said Bakk, DFL-Cook. “I just don’t know.’”

Oh, and no “grandstanding.” Says Tim Pugmire for MPR, These bills have to pass. They have to pass,’ Dayton said. ‘Do they have to pass unanimously? No,’ he added. ‘But if somebody is going to start to disrupt this whole process at this point by offering a self-serving amendment, I’m going to be very strongly opposed, and I’m going to be not bashful about going around to their respective districts and telling people in those districts that this kind of grandstanding is just not acceptable.’”

I’m not sure it’ll be remembered as “leaving on a high note.” The MPR story says, “A key figure in the University of Minnesota’s crisis over human test-subject protection says he will retire in December. In the past two months, Dr. Charles Schulz has stepped down both as chief of the U’s psychiatry department and as executive director of behavioral health services — moves that follow harsh outside criticism over the way the U has treated vulnerable research patients.”

The “art house” got a lot of attention. Strib real estate reporter Jim Buchta says, “On Sunday my colleague, Kim Palmer, told the tale of Lauri Svedberg’s funky, festooned art house in northeast Minneapolis, which hit the market at the end of the week. That house now has a buyer. Listing agent Michael Gacek of Edina Realty said that response to the listing has been overwhelming and within days of it going on the market he received 10 offers. Because the deal won’t close until early July, he’s unable to reveal the name of the buyer and the sale price. Safe to assume that the winning bid was for more than the asking price of $149,900.”

Again, “thank you for your service.” In the Strib we have this from Courtney Kueppers, “The Minneapolis Veterans Affairs’ faulty inpatient billing system has resulted in some Minnesota veterans having to pay thousands of dollars more in co-pays in the last five years. In a letter sent Thursday to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert McDonald, all ten federal Minnesota lawmakers questioned how the potential for veterans to pay more in co-pays will affect them and what the VA plans to do to help.”

So they’ll offer an 80 percent discount on the tickets, right? Says Ben Goessling at ESPN. “ … unless [Adrian] Peterson wants to play before the Vikings begin their season on Sept. 14 in San Francisco, Zimmer doesn’t seem inclined to push the issue. The coach said on Thursday he would check with Peterson during the preseason to see if he wants to get a few carries, but added he doesn’t feel a need to play him.”

The Feds want money … from us. Stribber Christopher Snowbeck says, “Minnesota will pay $3.1 million to the federal government after an audit found accounting errors in how the state Department of Human Services reported collections from overpayments in the Medicaid program. Medicaid is a health insurance and social service program that’s jointly funded by the state and federal governments. The program recovers overpayments in cases where Medicaid determines another third-party payer is responsible for costs initially covered by the program.”

The (last) drought is over. Says Andy Rathbun for the PiPress, “A map released by the U.S. Drought Monitor Thursday morning shows drought conditions are no longer present anywhere in Minnesota, although about 21 percent of the state was still considered abnormally dry as of Tuesday. The state’s drought outlook has changed significantly since the start of May, when about 54 percent of the state was in a moderate drought and another 40 percent was in a severe drought.”

Mug shot of the week. Katie Kather of the PiPress reports, “A driver was in custody after ramming three cars — including two police vehicles — during a chase Thursday morning in Wayzata, according to police. … The suspect, 63-year-old Wayne Steven Snyder, remained in custody Thursday evening at the Hennepin County jail. The Hennepin County sheriff’s office said his last known address was in Washington state.” We have a nice, quiet lake community here … and we aim to keep it that way!

Robert Kuttner of The American Prospect takes his shot at Scott Walker’s latest assault on pointy-headed public employees. “Republican presidential hopeful Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, thinks he’s hit political pay dirt with his proposal to gut faculty tenure protections at his state’s public universities, notably the flagship University of Wisconsin, long one of the nation’s best state universities. His idea is to remove tenure protection from state law, and leave the actual policy to the Board of Regents, his political appointees. For Walker, this is a three-fer. It’s another attack on a public institution, in the wake of his successful campaign to weaken collective bargaining rights for Wisconsin public employees. It is a thinly disguised assault on a university perceived as a hotbed of liberals and liberalism. And it continues Walker’s faux-populist theme by seemingly going after a bastion of privilege — the elite, pointy-headed professoriate. All this plays well with the Tea Party base.” 

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Comments (15)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/12/2015 - 06:35 am.

    The possibility of an Unbound Dayton flitting around the state, raving against legislators that delivered bills in time for him to veto, is a wonderful thing.

    Those of us that remember his tenure as US Senator never lost hope for a repeat performance.

    • Submitted by richard owens on 06/12/2015 - 07:50 am.

      Mark Dayton has been an excellent Governor.

      His administration has stabilized the State budget, ended the accounting gimmicks and shifts and ended borrowing from school funds, by simply making the tax system less regressive. The entire country should follow suit.

      Against Republican phoney “austerity” he has initiated the remodeling of our historic Capitol and brought sensible policies and practices forward to improve our children’s readiness. He has promoted Early Childhood education, among the first politicians to acknowledge the sponge-like learning that takes place in the first years of the life of a child.

      IMHO, there isn’t a single state Governor who has performed better in office, improving our state’s finances, its healthcare and its schools.

      We are lucky to have him. Look no further than Wisconsin, Kansas, New Jersey to see what a mess some Right wing ideologues have done to their State’s business. Starved schools, graft and corruption, absolute partisan actions that put at risk their state’s environment, their children and their economies- Governor Dayton stands above them all.

      He will leave our state in a decidedly better condition than when he took office. With any help at all, he’ll get the support he needs to fund some infrastructure spending before our assets can no longer be maintained. (Republicans are refusing that kind of spending from coast to coast despite its obvious wisdom for our jobs and economy.)

      Who has done better?

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/12/2015 - 08:28 am.

        That’s an interesting opinion, Richard.

        I don’t have to look far to find someone that has done better, though.

        “Nikki Haley says South Carolina has had fastest growth in the Southeast” < ---Mostly True, which, coming from Politifact regarding a conservative Governor, is tantamount to a hearty "Heck yeah!" http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/aug/30/nikki-haley/nikki-haley-says-south-carolina-has-had-fastest-gr/

        It’s also worth mentioning that since that statement was made, Volvo announced a new factory will be located in our fair state, and BMW announced a $1 billion dollar expansion, which will employ another 800 people in high paying jobs…which is nice.

        • Submitted by richard owens on 06/12/2015 - 08:56 am.

          No comparison!

          Thank goodness, Minnesotans lives are better in every measurable way than those of the Bible Belt South.

          Promises of LOW WAGES and NO TAXES is how Nikki and Rick Perry bribe companies to move to their states. They call it “job creation”. WQe all know it as the “race to the bottom”.

          Tell me about the real State policies that matter: Health, Education, minimum wages, housing, anti-poverty, child welfare.

          Or better yet, don’t bother. Your goals are not the same as Minnesotans who want progressive engaged government. Your examples are predictably ANTI-GOVERNMENT.

        • Submitted by Bill Gleason on 06/12/2015 - 09:24 am.

          South Carolina is a source of cheap labor for foreign companies

          That’s why all of the German auto manufacturing companies are unionized and pay their workers considerably higher hourly wages.

          “But the case of German automakers — BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen — tells a different story. Each company produces vehicles not only in Germany, but also in “transplant” factories in the U.S. The former are characterized by high wages and high union membership; the U.S. plants pay lower wages and are located in so-called “right-to-work” (anti-union) states.

          It turns out that “inevitability” has nothing to do with the differing conditions; the salient difference is that, in Germany, the automakers operate within an environment that precludes a race to the bottom; in the U.S., they operate within an environment that encourages such a race.”

          link: http://www.remappingdebate.org/article/tale-two-systems

        • Submitted by Harris Goldstein on 06/12/2015 - 09:44 am.

          Good news about those high paying jobs in SC.

          Perhaps they will help at least partially close the gap between SC per capita income (approx $37k) and MN (approx $49k). And median income (SC-$44k, MN-$61k).

          And close the gap between SC and MN unemployment rate (SC-6%, MN-4.3%)

          And even reduce state government spending as a % of GDP. (SC-15.4%, MN-12.8%)

          Of course, at least according to my figures, SC GDP growth rate was higher than MN for those years – by about 0.06%

      • Submitted by Richard Callahan on 06/12/2015 - 08:57 am.

        Although I generally support Gov. Dayton, one has to admit he has greatly benefited by the huge bounty from the economic recovery since Bush left office. This, along with his huge tax increases on the wealthy (good thing) and small business (bad thing) makes it a lot easier to be a successful governor.

        And don’t forget he brought us the Vikings stadium.

        • Submitted by richard owens on 06/12/2015 - 09:17 am.

          “Huge taxes”? Hardly a blip on the chart.

          I agree the Governor had an advantage in MN because the wrecking crew party was sent home while the adults stabilized the Pawlenty mess. Too bad he couldn’t get back some of the assets Pawlenty squandered, like the tobacco settlement.

          As for the Stadiums (3 going on 4?), please don’t discount the hard work of Senator Julie Rosen(R) and the genius of pretending pull tabs would do it.

          Imagine Sam Brownback or the arrogant little weasal to the East as Governor of Minnesota. We could be fighting each other just to keep our State institutions running.

        • Submitted by Steve Vigoren on 06/12/2015 - 10:15 am.

          Well, not exactly

          I wouldn’t say it was a ” huge bounty from the economic recovery since Bush left office”, and I don’t agree it was ” huge tax increases on the wealthy”. More like moderate on both accounts. And I am left wondering how Gov. Dayton magically convinced all those Republicans to vote for the Vikings stadium, when he couldn’t convince them to put more money into crumbling infrastructure and promises like broad band for Greater Minnesota, when that was who the Republicans were going to bat for this budget cycle.

        • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 06/12/2015 - 12:59 pm.

          Who could forget his level of due diligence,

          …and that of the entire MN legislature – not to mention the local press – in vetting the Wilfs as recipeints of a vast public subsidy ??

          Who believes for a single minute that absolutely no one in office knew about their business practices and the lawsuit in New Jersey ?? This was simply a kept secret well-kept from the public. There must have been quite a few people biting their lips, hoping that it wouldn’t come out early in the process.

          Since it was revealed late in the process, due to publicity in New Jersey, it gave the lapdog MSFA an opportunity to hire a study – but with an altered question to answer – not, “Do we want to do business with these guys at all?”, but instead, “Can they pay?”.

          This is the size and shape of official corruption these days in Minneapolis – not criminal, not exactly violating the law – but revolting to us “little people”, who matter little any more in the big decisions here.

      • Submitted by Joe Smithers on 06/12/2015 - 04:04 pm.


        An unwillingness to even look back at past governors does not equate to Dayton being the best. Plenty of his faults are evident.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/12/2015 - 11:30 am.


      I think you overestimate the average Minnesotan’s interest in mocking Governor Dayton. I also think you underestimate his overall popularity in the state.

  2. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 06/12/2015 - 09:34 am.

    It’s Sad

    that Tom Bakk, who seems to regard himself as the governor of the Iron Range region of Minnesota,…

    also seems to believe “the range” SHOULD have veto power over every other region of the state,…

    and that the desire of his constituents for jobs in an area where the played-out mining industry is going bust, (again),…

    due to international conditions beyond the control of anyone in Minnesota,…

    trumps every other concern.

    Given the opportunity Senator Bakk and his cronies seem to be all too willing to turn the Iron Range and most of the rest of Northeast Minnesota into an industrial waste land,…

    that will be polluted beyond recovery for centuries,…

    for a few jobs that will last for three or four decades with the majority of the profits of those mining concerns going to out of state investors,…

    and the ENTIRE state of Minnesota left holding the bag for the cleanup costs,…

    and he’s quite willing to play political games to get even with and punish anyone who commits the unpardonable offense of getting in his way.

  3. Submitted by jody rooney on 06/12/2015 - 11:29 am.

    After the collapse of the US furniture industry

    South Carolina had no where to go but up.

  4. Submitted by Richard O'Neil on 06/12/2015 - 01:42 pm.

    “We have a nice, quiet lake community here … and we aim to keep it that way.”

    Isn’t this a line from the movie The Big Lobowski?

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