GMG joins those calling for special legislative session
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - There are growing calls to bring state lawmakers back to St. Paul for a special session to address some unfinished business from the last legislative session. At the end of last month, lawmakers agreed on an outline to split a budget surplus into thirds: $4 billion each for tax breaks, new spending, and saved in reserves in case the economy worsens.
But that agreement, along with many wish lists, didn’t happen.
Gov. Tim Walz and legislative leaders had reached an agreement on a framework for spending before the end of the 2022 legislative session. That deal called for $4 billion in tax cuts and a $1.4 billion capital investment bill.
It also included additional spending of $1 billion in education, $1 billion for health and human services, and $450 million for public safety.
The legislature needed to pass all bills by May 23rd at midnight. However, due to disagreement in the details of how to spend the money, there was unfinished business at the end of session.
DFL State Senator Nick Frentz of North Mankato said, “Since we have returned from St. Paul, I have been hearing from all over the district that people want to go back and finish the work. Working men and women need to finish their job and legislators should be no different.”
Greater Mankato Growth is calling on state lawmakers to return to St. Paul for a special session to pass a bonding bill and provide meaningful tax relief for Minnesota businesses.
GMG says with a record budget surplus of $9 billion, the legislature had the opportunity to do more.
“They left seven billion dollars on the table and more than $12 billion in future years unspent. So we think they need to address that,” said Andy Wilke, Director of Business Development and Public Affairs at Greater Mankato Growth.
Some of the bonding requests that would impact the Mankato area included the Regional Water Resource Recovery Facility for the City of Mankato and investments to South Central College and Minnesota State University, Mankato.
The Mankato City Manager talks about what it could possibly mean to Mankato.
“So if there is not a special session and this project does not move forward at this time our operations would have to pivot to protection and inspection of the water resource recovery facility. it is a critical piece of not just the community infrastructure but also our economy,” said Mankato City Manager Susan Arntz.
Some bills that did pass include giving bonuses in the form of hero pay to frontline workers who could not work from home during the pandemic and distributing funds to address the opioid crisis.
GMG says Greater Mankato and Minnesota cannot wait for the next session; they hope for leaders to go back and come to an agreement and add to the list of passed bills.
“We want to make sure that the legislators in St. Paul understand the needs of our region,” said Wilke.
17 of the last 20 legislative sessions went into special session.
Vernon Center Republican Julie Rosen has recently said she’s skeptical about a special session happening this year, but says the discussion can continue.
The next legislative session starts January 3, after the November election.
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