Gov. Mark Dayton signs a disaster–aid package hours after the Legislature gave near–unanimous approval for it.
The in–and–out special session by the Minnesota Legislature will deliver assistance to 18 counties hit by June storms as well as Rock and Nobles county, which are still recovering from damage caused from an icy April.
It's only a $4.5 million dollar bill, and made up from money left over from a disaster relief package last year, leaving many wondering if there's a better way moving forward.
Rep. Clark Johnson (DFL – North Mankato) says, "I am intrigued by proposals to see if there is another way to do this, so we would not have to call a special session for something that's reasonably routine."
The state match for disaster relief funding was mostly procedural, but state Republicans did want to take a look at new taxes added last session.
Rep. Paul Torkelson (R – Hanska) says, "A little disappointed. The governor came to Farmfest and said he was going to use this time to get rid of the tax on farm equipment repairs. That's not happening. Wish it was. I think they believe a mistake was made, and we would like to eliminate it sooner rather than later."
Rep. Kathy Brynaert (DFL – Mankato) says, "There is some agreement that it's not an easy tax for farmers to absorb. There's also an interest in having that money go to pay back the school shift."
Rep. Tony Cornish (R – Good Thunder) says, "Strategically, I think it would have been better for them to bring up one now and pass it. What they're going to be faced with now is all three in the general session. It'll make for some lively debate."
... Lively debate that will now have to wait until the regular session gavels in next year.