Round-the-clock marathon to pass bills, end shutdown?

Posted at 11:29 AM on July 19, 2011 by Paul Tosto (0 Comments)

Break out the jammies. It could be a looong night at the Capitol.

When the special session starts at 3 p.m., lawmakers will be dealing with a total of 12 bills they need to pass, MPR News reporter Tim Pugmire says.

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That includes eight spending bills, a tax bill, a pensions bill, legislation tied to the so-called Legacy Amendment and the $500 million bonding / construction bill Gov. Mark Dayton insisted upon as a condition of accepting much of the GOP spending plan.

Once they're in session, GOP House Speaker Zurt Zellers says it will be a round-the-clock marathon to pass the bills.

Pugmire says no bill amendments will be allowed so it won't be the "lengthy floor sessions we usually see with these spending bills." Still lawmakers will have their chance to speak.

Pugmire says many details are still up in the air right now, but he notes:

-- GOP leaders say they have the votes in their majority caucuses to pass the bills. Despite Gov. Dayton's support, it's expected that few if any DFL lawmakers will vote for the spending bills.

-- Dayton believes the DNR could go back to work completely as soon as the environmental spending bill is signed. That means state parks could reopen for the weekend.

Also, at this point there is no talk of dealing with a Vikings stadium in this session. MPR News reporter Tom Scheck says Dayton was asked about it but said a deal wasn't completed yet and the governor wasn't sure if he'd call a special session for it later.


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