A New Normal? Legislature’s Last-Minute Chaos Falls Short
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - There's a new recipe for ending Minnesota's Legislature: Pass a few bills hours before deadline and leave some others unfinished.
The Legislature's last-minute rush has fallen fell short twice in the last two years. A pile of unfinished work and disagreements with Gov. Mark Dayton prompted a special session last year. Sunday's deadline closed the 2016 session without a package of public construction projects or a transportation funding package. Major budget bills passed in the final hours.
Some lawmakers are wondering how to avoid the last-minute scramble. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen has suggested changes to bring more negotiations out into the public and force major decisions earlier.
Retiring Sen. Bev Scalze isn't hopeful it will change. The Little Canada Democrat says the secretive process works well for legislative leaders.