ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota lawmakers are picking up right where they left off from last year. The 2012 session so far has been filled with bad feelings and harsh rhetoric.

And already, state lawmakers are taking a break. The House goes home Wednesday night, and the Senate follows on Thursday.

They’re not coming back for a week, and Governor Mark Dayton is wondering why.

Seven days into the 2012 session, and the legislature is ready for time off: Up to seven days off to attend precinct caucuses, which are next Tuesday night.

Gov. Dayton, already upset by the Senate firing of a trusted appointee, said there’s no reason for them to take a vacation.

“They’ve only been in session for less than a week, now they are going to take a week off to go to the precinct caucuses. All you’ve got to do is get in your car and drive to the precinct caucuses,” Dayton said. “I don’t understand why they need a week. When they get back, maybe they’d like to get to work on the things the people of Minnesota really care about and are concerned about, which are jobs.”

Even though they’ll be on break, Minnesota Senators are entitled to $86 a day in expense payments, even if they are not at the Capitol.

The House decided to ban all per diem after their lawmakers go home Wednesday night.

“Why do you need a break? It’s traditional you stop to take a break for caucuses, we actually break every year for caucuses. That’s part of what we do every year,” said Republican Majority Leader Matt Dean.

Minnesota House leaders told WCCO-TV their seven day break is actually saving the taxpayers money because lawmakers don’t need to come to session on Monday and then drive home Tuesday for precinct caucuses.

By the way, it is against the law for the legislature to meet on caucus day.

Comments (9)
  1. boss says:

    NOTHING DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. GOP HATER. says:

    Must be nice to get paid to do nothing. They should all be fired!

    1. Richard in Minneapolis says:

      “Must be nice to get paid to do nothing.”

      When I was an elected official it was at least four hours prep time for every hour in session. Being an elected official involves a helluva lot of reading, a helluva lot of time listening to people tell you their problems, and a helluva lot of time on the phone talking to the businesses and interest groups in your district to find out what they want. And that is before all the obligatory ribbon cuttings, store-openings, speeches at the Rotary/Lions/Kiwanis and other clubs.

      Saying that legislators do nothing when they are not in session is like saying the Vikings only work 48 hours (3 hours x 16 games) per year.

  3. Replace the GOP says:

    Not only do they take a break now, BUT they are ending the session early this year so they can campaign for a job they haven’t started yet. NO to the GOP.

  4. Dayton and the party of "Can't" says:

    Well, when dayton doesn’t get his way, and uses the media to firebomb the Legislature, I certainly can understand why the Legislature doesn’t feel the need to “accomodate” the governor. dayton thinks he has the upper hand, and acts as though the Legislature should bow to him, and him alone.

    1. Dan says:

      The party of can’t must be the Republicans. Your use of capital letters leads me to believe that at least 10 years of your education was wasted.

  5. Rubble says:

    Come on people the Repubs have been working for a week, they need a break. Dont worry they will be back after a week or two. Meanwhile the hardworking DFL and the Gov will be waiting. I remember there where people that said the DFL extended the summer shutdown, what a joke. The repubs need a break, these people have other things to take care of. Like how does our party keep from getting run over in the fall elections by the DFL. It is coming. They also have to figure out how they are going to take care of the economic problems they have. The DFL is flush with cash.

  6. jimmy says:

    The Minnesota Senate motto should be “get your money for nothing get chicks for free”

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