The following information was shared via email with the library community by Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates, in her role as MLA-ITEM lobbyist.
The Legislature is holding a special session today. Governor Dayton issued a proclamation at 11pm last night calling legislators into a special session beginning at 10am this morning. Governor Dayton and legislative leaders expressed hope that this would be a one-day special session.
As of this writing both the House and Senate have passed the E-12 Education bill, the Legacy bill and the Jobs and Economic Development bill, all by wide margins. All three of those bills include appropriations of interest to libraries, which I have described in previous reports.
The three bills remaining to be passed are the bonding bill, the Agriculture and Environment bill and the Revisor’s bill. The most controversial is the Agriculture and Environment bill, which is opposed by many environmentalists. Earlier this afternoon the bill failed on the Senate floor by one vote. The vote was 33 in favor and 32 opposed, but it takes 34 votes to pass a bill on the Senate floor. The most likely scenario is that one or more senators who voted no are persuaded to change their votes. If not, a second special session would be required.
When the special session is concluded and Governor Dayton has signed all of the bills, I will send out a comprehensive summary of the 2015 session.
In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me with questions.
Elaine Keefe, Capitol Hill Associates