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Weary lawmakers pass final budget bills, wrap 2017 special session
By Mike Cook
House Speaker Kurt Daudt and House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman confer on the House Floor during a recess early Thursday afternoon. Photo by Andrew VonBank

Day three of the 2017 special session saw lawmakers pass final omnibus bills to be sent to Gov. Mark Dayton, with weary House members wrapping up their work at 2:42 a.m. Friday following a week of long days — and nights — at the State Capitol.

Legislators finished a tax bill that includes extended bar close times for next year’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, an omnibus education bill that includes $483 million in new money, and a transportation bill with $300 million in new General Fund dollars. A bill to fund state government is also on its way to the governor, as is a health and human services bill that spends more than $15 billion.

Additionally, a uniform state labor standards bill was passed by both chambers but is expected to be vetoed by the governor. Dayton has said he is against the pre-emption language that would, in part, bar cities from enacting minimum wage ordinances.

Finally, calling himself a legislative closer, Rep. Dean Urdahl (R-Grove City) quickly presented a nearly $1 billion bonding bill. Fifteen minutes later, House members filed out of the Chamber after passing the borrowing package on a 119-11 vote.

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Lawmakers pass bonding bill to close out special session
By Mike Cook

Lawmakers wrapped up the special session early Friday morning by agreeing to borrow nearly $1 billion for public works projects across the state.

Lawmakers send governor bill to fund state government
By Mike Cook

Lawmakers late Thursday night OK’d the appropriations needed to fund state government agencies, veterans’ services, constitutional offices and the Legislature.

Despite veto threats, House passes mixed-bag uniform labor bill
By Ricky Campbell

Pleading for brevity as the Legislature entered its third day of a deadline-neglecting special session, Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) said his uniform state labor standards b...

House repasses tax bill amended with extended Super Bowl bar hours
By Lee Ann Schutz

Omnibus tax bill amended to allow for bars to be open until 4 a.m. Feb. 2-Feb.5 to allow more time for fan revelry.

With self-imposed deadline gone, Legislature still piecing together budget
By Ricky Campbell

Two large spending bills and a bonding package await action; both chambers in at noon Thursday

House again OKs transportation plan heavy on borrowing, General Funds shifts
By Jonathan Avise

The $5.9 billion, two-year transportation funding bill passed on a 74-54 vote proposes to shift $300 million in auto-related sales tax revenues toward road and bridge construction funding.

A hostile start to special session sees two omnibus bills passed before 7 a.m. deadline
By Mike Cook

One night of overtime was not nearly enough for the Legislature to complete its crafting of a 2018-19 biennial state budget.

Compromise education bill passed by House in special session
By Nick Longworth

After weeks of negotiations over the best approach to reduce the achievement gap, lawmakers passed a compromise bill early Wednesday that they believe Gov. Mark Dayton would ultimately sign.

‘Bipartisan,’ trimmed down special session tax bill gets House approval
By Lee Ann Schutz

Called the largest tax relief package in 20 years, end-of-session negotiations produced a tentative agreement between leadership and the governor calling for $650 million in tax relief over the 2017-18 biennium.

Legislative leaders expect special session to last through the night
By Mike Cook

One overtime may not be enough for the Legislature to complete its crafting of a biennial state budget.

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