Bonding Bill Negotiations Continue at State Capitol
ST. PAUL, MN (AP) — State lawmakers were locked in negotiations over a major infrastructure package as they headed toward the end of a legislative session.
GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said “a flurry of negotiations” was unfolding all day Sunday as legislators tried to wrap up work by Sunday night, the Star Tribune reported.
Legislators expect to return to St. Paul in a few weeks for a special session when Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency powers are set to expire.
Walz’s emergency powers have been one of the key disputes in the late-going at the Capitol, where Republican lawmakers say the DFL governor should not be able to make unilateral decisions such as closing businesses. Walz and House Democrats contend that fast action is necessary as crises arise during the pandemic.
House Republicans cited concerns about Walz’s unilateral powers and the size of the House’s proposed $2 billion borrowing measure on Saturday when they voted as a bloc against the Democrats’ plan. The Senate proposed its own $998 million bonding bill Saturday.
Gazelka said Sunday he had reached an agreement with House Speaker Melissa Hortman over the size of a bonding bill but declined to provide details.