Work on bills is ongoing in the Legislature

Published 2:09 pm Saturday, May 30, 2015

I hope you and your families enjoyed a restful and safe Memorial Day Weekend. I have enjoyed more relaxing days back home in Austin and some quality time with my family. While the 2015 legislative session is over, unfortunately our work is not done. Governor Dayton has vetoed three important budget bills, the Agriculture and Environment bill, which I worked many long hours on, the E-12 bill and the Energy and Economic Development bill.

Dan Sparks

Dan Sparks

While all of these bills contained many good provisions that the governor agreed with, all also contained either bills that the governor disagreed with or that were missing important policy and funding investments that the governor considers a priority. Both Senate and House leaders have already begun meeting with the governor to find common ground. All parties have agreed on a location to hold the special session since the Capitol is no longer an option. When a special session is called, it will be held at the State Office Building which is just across the street from the Capitol.

Our Majority Leader Tom Bakk has assured us negotiations are ongoing, and we remain hopeful that we can resolve our differences in a short amount of time. Most likely the House and Senate leadership will come to an agreement with the governor on all three budget bills before a special session is called. The Senate is hoping we can accomplish all of our special session in one day.

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I am heartened to hear that there is movement on both the Agriculture/Environment budget bill and the Energy/Economic Development bills, however sticking points remain with negotiations over the E-12 bill. Gov. Dayton continues to push for voluntary half-day pre-school, while the House Republicans continue to push back on that investment proposal.

It is my hope that we can all come to an agreement soon, dragging out this process isn’t good for the state of Minnesota or its people.

If there are any other issues you’d like to see addressed please feel free to contact my office at 651-296-9248.


Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin is the state senator for District 27.