A pair of DFL senators say there's a deal on the table for doling out the proceeds from the new 3/8 cent sales tax.
It's the only bright spot in an otherwise gloomy scenario this session. The tax is expected to raise about $234 million in the next fiscal year, starting in July.
Tom Saxhaug, of Grand Rapids, said a few minutes ago "there will be an Article I" when the conference committee meets at 1 p.m. today. He isn't promising that everyone will vote for it.
But he seemed confident that the House's most controversial outdoor provisions -- the ones generating some angst among hunters, anglers and the Lessard Outdoor Heritage Commission -- have been paved over.
He demurred on another of the controversial elements on debate over the new tax. A few lawmakers were trying to take retired Sen. Bob Lessard's name off the Lessard Outdoor Heritage Committee that doles out a big chunk of the money. The name "will be in there, somehow," Saxhaug said of his former colleague.
Patricia Torres Ray, of Minneapolis, said the less-controversial parks, trails and clean water provisions are done and look good for this afternoon's meeting.
We haven't been able to track down Dick Cohen, the conference committee's DFL co-chair. But as one of the Legislatures' most ardent patrons of the arts, he's been the most insistent on getting a deal done. Presumably, Cohen will have something to bring to the table today.
WHO CAN THEY BUY OFF WITH SOME SALES TAX PORK!
MAYBE IF WE BRIBE SOMEONE, WE MAY GET THE VOTES!