Gov. Walz, legislative leaders say no special session this summer
(KSTP) – Talks collapsed Thursday on the prospect of a special session, despite having a record state surplus of $9 billion.
Lawmakers have been negotiating for weeks to come to an agreement on major legislation to no avail.
The breakdown means spending bills on health and human services, education and public safety all remain in limbo.
“Think about Minnesota Republicans walking away from the largest tax cut since 1858,” Gov. Walz told reporters in Duluth Thursday evening, adding he felt Republicans were “unwilling to honor a deal that we all made with the surplus. It makes no sense to me.”
Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) released this statement in response to the lack of a special session this summer:
With a massive budget surplus, Republicans made it a priority to give money back to the people, invest in public safety with more good cops on the streets and holding criminals accountable, invest in literacy programs to help kids read, and provide more funding for nursing homes and disability service providers.
“Even with a bipartisan legislative agreement to cut income taxes and end the tax on Social Security benefits, Democrats weren’t willing to pass this bill without billions more in spending.
“Simply put, Governor Walz and the House Democrats have different spending priorities than Minnesotans. After four months of session and four more weeks of discussions, the differences could not be resolved.”
Senate Republicans continued to meet to see if there was a path for an agreement to a special session, but key budget areas and policy provisions, including HHS and Public Safety, remain many millions apart.
House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) also weighed in, saying GOP members of the senate “don’t see the need to come back and finish the work.”