Sen. Tom Bakk, the Senate Taxes Committee chair and a DFL gubneratorial candidate, said today he has asked Gov. Tim Pawlenty to call a special legislative session before the end of the year to pass a bonding bill that would create jobs for unemployed Minnesotans.
Pawlenty briefly addressed the proposal at his own press conference, saying that he thought such a move would make little difference.
Standing at a press conference flanked by trades workers, Bakk said the state's sputtering economy meant that Minnesota should not wait until February when the Legislature is scheduled to convene to pass a bonding bill that would authorize money for capitol improvement projects. "I see no reason that we sit around and wait, with an economy that is badly failing," said Bakk, DFL-Cook..
Having a bonding bill in place by the end of the year, said Bakk, would create momentum "so that those projects can get started when we go into session, [and] not start talking about it then." Too often, he added, the bonding bill is used as a political bargaining chip between the governor and the Legislature and does not get passed until late in the session, which typically delays passage until April or May.
The governor said he would consider the proposal, but said calling a special session of the Legislature presumes "that a 30 day window of moving up those projects would somehow make a big difference."
Interest groups spent less slightly money lobbying state government in 2015 than in the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.