MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Because of State Capitol construction disruption, the State Office Building will be home to the bare-bones special session.
Preparations are underway to squeeze the House and Senate inside two small hearing rooms.
But those details are looming large. Gov. Mark Dayton says Republicans are illegally trying to gut the state auditor’s office he once held because they don’t like it. And he won’t call a special session until they back off.
“It would be like, you know, somebody going in and applying to be the CEO of Coca Cola and saying, you know, ‘I don’t like Coke. I drink Pepsi.’ Well fine, then go work for Pepsi. Don’t try to, you know, dismantle Coca Cola because you don’t like it,” Dayton said.
A last-minute law gave counties the right to use private audit firms to check their budgets, effectively abolishing the auditor’s main job — auditing.
Supporters say it is government reform, saving tens of thousands of dollars a year and lowering property taxes.
The bill’s author — Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-District 44A — took to Twitter.
“Government shouldn’t be in the business of self-preservation at the expense of property taxpayers,” Anderson said.
State Auditor Rebecca Otto says she is “outraged.”
“I will do whatever it takes. Absolutely, I’ll fight this to the very end to make sure that this function is preserved for the people of Minnesota,” Otto said.
When asked if that means going to court, Otto said, “I’ll do whatever I have to do.”
Top lawmakers say they still hope to come back to St. Paul and finish their work by the end of this week, or early next week.