May 25 - 2019

With agreement from Speaker Hortman and Majority Leader Gazelka, Governor Walz declared an emergency under the Minnesota Constitution, calling for a marathon one-day special session beginning Friday (yesterday) at 10am and ending at 7am this morning. 

This is what they passed ... 
2019 Special Session Budget Bills
Agriculture, Housing and Rural Development Finance
Environment and Natural Resources Finance
Health and Human Services Finance
Jobs and Economic Development Finance
Judiciary and Public Safety Omnibus Finance
Transportation Finance and Policy Division

Other legislation
Budget bills were not the only things that passed this year. In fact, a number of legislative issues were passed during the regular session, finding the bipartisan compromises needed to pass in both bodies and be signed into law. Here are some of them:

What's Next?

The 2019 legislative session and special session have now ended. All sides walk away with various polices they are happy with ... and others they wish could have been passed.  

It is hard to determine who "won" or "lost" though many pundits may try. Governor Walz, in his first year, got agreement through a divided government and was able to increase K12 funding. Majority Leader Daudt was able to fight off a Gas Tax increase and pass some tax relief. 

The biggest loser in this session was the process, continuing the recent trend of closed door, behind-the-scenes negotiations. In doing this, not only is the public largely left out, but the rushed manner of it all also lends itself to many mistakes.

There once was a time when the threat of legislative leaders taking control of a conference committee was seen as enough motivation to create agreement. However, this year it seemed as though chairs were content to hand over their control to legislative leaders.  

It is true that deals have always, and will always, be made behind the scenes but traditionally after the deal is made they will affirm the deal in public, with some discussion. But now - with little public action - entire bills are released and voted on with very little notice.

Thank you to all of my regular readers who have commented about your appreciation of this newsletter. I do enjoy writing it and hope that the information I provide is useful to some degree.  

Enjoy Your Summer and we will see you next year. The 2020 legislative session will begin on February, 11th!  

Cap O'Rourke
President, O'Rourke Strategic Consulting 

Cap O'Rourke | (612) 483-1863 | |
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