MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Special Session came to a crashing halt Saturday morning passing none of the major bills both sides were hoping for.
While the debate around a police reform proposal received a lot of attention, the legislature’s failure to agree on other issues is having an impact on the bottom line of communities statewide.READ MORE: Crews Battle Fire In Northeast Minneapolis
There was no deal on an estimated $1.35 billion infrastructure and jobs bonding bill, and no deal on distributing $841 million in COVID-19 relief. All of that is money cities and counties were counting on.
Mayor Sean Dowse of Red Wing has this message for the legislature: “Please get the bonding bill done as soon as you can.”
Dowse is counting on $10 million from the bonding bill for a bridge to go over the railroad tracks to the island that is home to Treasure Island Casino, a nuclear power plant and the Prairie Island native community. No bridge means delays waiting for trains for thousands of motorists and, even more critically, first responders.READ MORE: Minnesota Weather: High Temps Could Reach 90 Degrees Sunday
“It’s been ranked one of the top three projects by the Department of Transportation,” Dowse said.
Red Wing is also counting on some $800,000 in coronavirus aid.
“Get that out to greater Minnesota, Red Wing is not unique; towns all across the Minnesota need that money,” Dowse said.
In a sign of how badly communities need the COVID-19 money, House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt cowrote a letter asking Gov. Tim Walz to hand out the $840 million using his emergency powers. Ironically it was Daudt’s and others’ concern about Walz’s emergency powers which held up passage of the bonding bill.MORE NEWS: Minnesota Weather: 1 Dead, NWS Confirms 3 Tornadoes Touched Down Across MN
Walz has said he is hopeful the bonding bill will happen and right now he is studying how to allocate the COVID-19 money. Walz is expected to announce he is calling another special session later this week. That would give legislators a third chance to pass these critical bills.