MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota lawmakers are holding a dramatic special legislative session Friday — three weeks after their regular session ended.
Lawmakers are back in St. Paul to pass billions of dollars in budget bills to fund state government.READ MORE: Darren Osborne, 56, Charged In Wisconsin Quadruple Homicide; 1 Other Still At Large
It took 25 days just to reach agreement to be able to meet Friday, and the outcome of some of the budget bills are still in doubt.
The surroundings are very unfamiliar, and even uncomfortable. Two-hundred-and-one lawmakers are squeezed into two small hearing rooms in the State Office Building, which have been converted into official House and Senate chambers due to the State Capitol renovation.
Most of the bills they are voting on are expected to pass — including education, jobs and construction projects.READ MORE: Man Fatally Shot In South Minneapolis Identified As Christopher Crockom
But Rep. Paul Thissen, the Democratic minority leader, says the special session never needed to happen.
“This session and this special session is no reason to celebrate, and it does not fix the fact that we have had a failed legislative session,” Thissen said. “You know, the ‘F’ grade that I gave the legislature on the last night of session isn’t changed by this special session. We still haven’t gotten a tax bill, we still haven’t gotten a transportation bill, we should have done better in education, we still haven’t frozen college tuitions.”
The only controversy expected Friday involves Senate Democrats, who are threatening to kill a major environmental funding bill because they say it strips out many of Minnesota’s long-standing environmental standards.MORE NEWS: Major Storm Damage In Hudson: Public Library Sustains Significant Damage, All Schools Closed Friday
If that bill — or any other bill — fails, this session could go longer than one day.