ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The 2016 legislative session is wrapping up at the State Capitol.
Lawmakers have until midnight tonight to figure out what to do with the state budget surplus, road and bridge funding and a massive public works bill.
None of the major spending bills have been passed. Most lawmakers haven’t even seen them.
Late Sunday afternoon, the powerful Senate Democratic Majority Leader Tom Bakk said it is unlikely a transportation bill will pass. That’s because he says Republicans want a one-year fix, and he doesn’t trust them to tell the truth when they campaign for election this fall.
“I’m just not interested in and haven’t been interested in something that just allows people to hit the campaign trail and say ‘Hey, we resolved the state’s transportation infrastructure problems’ when everybody when they push that green button is going to know that that is not true,” Bakk said. “But what people will purport and say on the campaign trail when they push the button, they’re going to know what they’re going to say is not true.”
Students get a tax credit on their school loans up to $1000. The Mille Lacs area gets funds to boost businesses while the lake suffers from a walleye crisis. The city of Madelia gets funds to rebuild its downtown after a devastating fire. And Minnesota United gets a tax break to help build a soccer stadium in St. Paul.
But top lawmakers are complaining about secret talks, middle of the night meetings and no public input on the biggest issues of the year.
Tonight, with six-and-a-half hours left in the 2016 session, it’s going in the wrong direction.