Special session sprint

After speeding through nearly half a dozen budget bills with little debate, lawmakers slowed the pace and picked up the partisan rhetoric when the tax bill hit the House floor.  Republican House Majority Leader Matt Dean told Democrats “Every red vote is a vote to continue the shutdown.” DFL Minority Leader Paul Thissen teed up his counterpart with “You and this legislature have nothing to be proud of, we have every reason to hang our heads and vote no.”  GOP Tax Chair Greg Davids still praised one Democrat saying “the governor stepped up, he’s leading.” 

Numerous legislators spoke passionately at length on taxes in contrast to just a couple of quick remarks on less controversial budget bills on the way to the governor including public safety, jobs, environment and higher education.  Democratic lead on taxes Rep. Ann Lenczewski concluded “This bill is an utter failure” because of the spending shifts to education and borrowing against tobacco bonds.  The bill passed 71-57.  Gov. Mark Dayton plans to wait until all the budget bills arrive on his desk to sign them together and end the longest state government shutdown in history.

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