Letter: Governor needs to call special session so lawmakers can address concerns
During his recent visit to Rochester, Gov. Mark Dayton recognized the importance of Rochester projects that didn’t receive funding. He called on legislators to return to St. Paul to finish their work.
I know my senator, Carla Nelson, wants to. But she can’t until the governor announces a special session. He is the only one with the power to do so.
As session ended, legislators had bipartisan agreement on funding for roads and bridges and important bonding projects, including the Rochester International Airport and the Rochester Reading Center. It was only derailed due to a last-minute amendment.
It shouldn’t be difficult to go back and finish, and there is universal support to fix the drafting error in the tax relief bill. Gov. Dayton can, and should, call a special session.
Legislators must also fix the process that produces end-of-session chaos. There is no excuse to not to give the public and legislators time to read and review final agreements.
Sen. Nelson attempted to address this problem. She sponsored a rule change to create a new legislative deadline requiring all bills to be finished a week prior to the end of session. This will add much-needed transparency and restore public faith in the process, and it should be at the top of legislators’ to-do lists.