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Probability of special session continues to sink

Governor Dayton met with key legislative leaders on June 21 to discuss a potential special session, but nothing was accomplished. After the meeting, the Governor told the media that the talks had taken a step backward and blamed new demands made by the GOP, including a prohibition on cities adopting their own more rigorous ordinances  and a proposal for school vouchers. House Speaker Kurt Daudt blamed the impasse on Gov. Dayton and also stated that Southwest light rail transit continues to be a problem holding up the negotiations. They did not state when they would meet again and Gov. Dayton said the ball is in the House GOP’s court to call another negotiating session.

The likelihood of a special session is low. Gov. Dayton did signal a day later that he would cut his demands, but that garnered little reaction. Some commentators have suggested that this issue will not be settled until after the August primary, due to challenges faced by a number of key legislators. At that point, the election season will be in full swing, further diminishing the likelihood of any agreement.

Despite this gloomy assessment, it is still important that communities continue to press leaders for a special session. Although the chances are slim that it will happen, the likelihood decreases even more if people give up. The only way that a special session to pass bonding, tax and transportation bills will happen is if our legislators understand that their communities want them to put politics aside and finish their business.