Dayton: Republican PolyMet talk is a special session distraction

Published 10:26 am Tuesday, November 24, 2015

ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton isn’t playing along with House Republicans’ call to link a PolyMet project pledge to a special session for unemployed steelworkers.

Mark Dayton

Mark Dayton

Dayton is aiming to call a special session to extend unemployment benefits for miners in northeastern Minnesota. A tide of closures at Iron Range mines mean some those benefits may expire soon as this month. Minnesota’s Legislature isn’t set to return until early March.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt had asked for Dayton’s vow not to interfere in the PolyMet mine review and an oil pipeline in planning. Dayton said Monday his administration isn’t delaying the copper-nickel mine or Sandpiper pipeline.

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He calls the talk about those projects an excuse not to help laid-off workers. Daudt says the state needs to improve long-term employment on the Iron Range.