ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton said Wednesday he won’t call a special session until top lawmakers agree to a list of projects.
Transportation and public works projects top the list of demands. But the Democratic Governor says lawmakers must also fix a major mistake it made at the end of the session that could affect the new Vikings stadium.
The raucous end to the 2016 session saw mistakes, and unfinished business. Now, Gov. Dayton says he wants agreement on a big fix before he’ll call lawmakers back to the Capitol.
In the moments before the session ended, lawmakers tried and failed to pass funding for roads and bridges or public works.
Now, Gov. Dayton has a list of demands. Literally, “My way, or no highway.”
“They all need to be in there. I expect them all to be in there. I require them all to be in there. They all will be in there,” Dayton said.
The Governor is demanding a transportation bill that includes 10-year funding for road and bridge projects, and light rail transit, a University of Minnesota science building and major safety upgrades at St. Peter Security Hospital.
“This is funding not just to satisfy me. It is for the needs of Minnesota,” Dayton said.
Another fix: A late night drafting mistake means a shortfall in a fund that pays for the Vikings stadium. It’s forcing a 10 percent stadium tax hike on suite owners.
“So that’s why we would want to implement a suite tax immediately on July 1, 2016, to try to make up for some of that revenue,” Myron Frans said.
The state’s top Republican says GOP lawmakers are ready to fix the stadium mistake, and compromise the rest.
They are calling on Gov. Dayton to do the same.
“I am going to take his word that he is going to be reasonable. If he is not, if he is going to have to have everything exactly the way he wants it or he is not going to call a special session? It’s probably going to be difficult to get there and I think that’s really unfortunate,” House Speaker Kurt Daudt said.
The Governor says he’ll meet with Republican and Democratic leaders as early as Thursday and is prepared to call a special session as early as next week. It might not be that easy. A letter Wednesday night from Senate Republicans says they won’t agree to “a multi-page list of non-negotiable spending demands.”