Gov. Mark Dayton has wrapped up his duties for the regular legislative session by signing five bills and vetoing one.
Now comes the countdown for an elusive agreement on the budget bills he vetoed. A state shutdown looms July 1 if Republican lawmakers can’t resolve their differences in a special session.
Dayton vetoed the education policy bill Tuesday, saying the bill “prohibits the Commissioner of Education from adopting Common Core Standards, which 42 other states have adopted.” He also had concerns about provisions allowing school districts to operate as charter schools, and some language on home schooling. And he didn’t like the lack of language and funding for early childhood education.
State Rep. Sondra Erickson, chair of the House Education Policy Committee, was disappointed with the veto:
“I am afraid that the governor has shown he is more interested in playing politics than signing reforms into law, reforms that could turn around a number of our schools. With his signature, Governor Dayton could have put us at the forefront of reform, but with his veto we’re stuck standing in place for another year.”
On the positive side, the five bills he did sign bring the total number of bills passed and signed during the regular session to 93, according to Dayton’s office. He vetoed 24.
For those keeping score at home, the five newly signed bills are:
- Chapter 112, HF 1219/SF 869, the omnibus technical tax bill. This bill includes several provisions related to economic development, including amendments to the Job Opportunities Building Zones (JOBZ) program, and the Angel Tax Credit Program, aimed at improving the existing programs. The bill passed with bipartisan support.
- Chapter 113, SF 54/HF 104, which provides for settlement of claims against the state. It also provides deficiency funding in the current fiscal year for several departments. Finally, it conforms the appropriations of the Department of Education and the Department of Human Services to the February 2011 forecast. The bill passed with broad, bipartisan support.
- Chapter 115, HF 753/SF 792, allows for a property owner to detach their property from one municipality and annex to an abutting municipality with the support of at least one of the municipalities. Current law, enacted in 2006, requires resolutions from both cities for a property owner’s petition to be successful. This new law restores and clarifies pre-2006 procedures. The bill passed the Senate with unanimous support, and the House with bipartisan support.
- Chapter 116, HF 1023/SF 874, the omnibus judiciary bill, which includes a number of provisions. A large part of the bill is related to the construction of wills and trusts. The bill also addresses various issues related to the judiciary, based on recommendations from the Bar Association. The bill passed the Senate with unanimous support, and the House with broad, bipartisan support.
- Chapter 117, HF 242/SF 179, which expands Gold Star license plate eligibility to surviving legal guardians and siblings of a veteran who has died while serving honorably in active military service. Under current law, only the surviving spouse and parents of a veteran are eligible. The bill also includes a Deputy Registrar fee increase of $1.50 per transaction. The bill passed the Legislature with broad, bipartisan support.