Gov. Mark Dayton said planning for a flood-relief special session for later this month is "on track," and he hopes to work out an agreement with legislative leaders in the next few days.
Dayton said he will meet with the leaders on Friday, following a legislative hearing on flood relief on Thursday, and is still aiming at a brief session, limited to flood relief, possibly on Aug. 24.
The DFL governor said he wants a written agreement on the subject matter and agenda of the session in writing from leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature. "I won't call a session until it's signed," he said.
June flooding that hit Duluth, northeastern Minnesota and parts of south central Minnesota caused extensive damage, and Dayton has proposed a $190 million state relief effort, supplementing federal disaster aid. His plan will be scrutinized by a Legislative panel on Thursday.
Only the governor can call legislators into special session, but once they are in session, he cannot control the agenda or end the session. That is why Dayton wants an agreement from leaders on the agenda and timing.
Dayton said he hoped to work on a cooperative basis with legislative leaders on the relief package, and is open to negotiations on the amount and whether some of the assistance could be deferred until next year.