Minnesota legislators have been called back to their seats and an end to the government shutdown appears just hours away.
Gov. Mark Dayton called for a special legislative session to begin 3 p.m. today—19 days into the shutdown of Minnesota government—after approving preliminary versions of nine legislative bills totaling $35.4 billion over the 2011-2013 biennium.
Legislators have resolved some of the session’s more contentious bills—on K-12 education, state government, jobs and economic development, taxes and higher education. The public safety/judiciary, transportation and environment bills were given the nod Monday afternoon, a day after legislators agreed in principle on a $11 billion Health and Human Services bill.
No mention was made of the governor’s $500 million bonding bill—a stipulation of his agreement to the Republican-written budget.
Provided the bipartisan legislature passes the bills, Dayton plans to sign them into law “as they come in” Tuesday afternoon and, effectively, end the shutdown. The governor said it would then take a “few days” to notify and call back to work the 22,000 state workers laid off July 1.
Richfield Patch has reached out to Rep. Paul Thissen, Rep. Linda Slocum and Sen. Ken Kelash, all who represent Richfield, to get their comments on the news. An aide to Kelash said he would be able to speak with Patch Tuesday afternoon. Stay tuned for his comments.