Draft legislation readied for 1-day, disaster relief special session
September 4, 2013 — 5:13pm
The Legislature has readied draft legislation for a one-day, disaster relief special session.
Lawmakers are expecting to return to St. Paul on Sept. 9 to approve the $4.5 million in grants to communities damaged by the June wind and rain storms. The grants make up the state's match to federal disaster relief.
Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders last month agreed that they would all sign off on final language for that disaster relief bill on Friday and that no other legislation or amendments would be considered.
By Wednesday, drafts of that disaster relief legislation had begun circulating among caucus leaders
Senate Finance Committee chairman Dick Cohen, DFL-St. Paul, said he did not know of any objections to the draft, which he expected to sponsor.
The draft is brief.
Only two pages, it outlines that the state would spend $4.5 million to match the federal funds for the severe storms and flooding that between June 20 and June 26 and that the state money would come from cancelling previous disaster relief funds that turned out not to be needed.
If Republican and Democratic legislative leaders and Dayton all agree to the final language, the governor is expected to officially call for a Monday special session.
Although leaders have agreed that "no other votes will be permitted and no other bills" other than ones dealing with disaster relief will be considered during the session, lawmakers are still preparing to offer special session legislation to repeal new taxes approved this year. None of those measures are expected to get any legislative traction next week.
Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders on Friday penciled in a special session for late August to revive a tax bill and hundreds of millions of dollars in public construction projects, but it's not a done deal yet.
Gov. Mark Dayton said Tuesday he is willing to negotiate outstanding issues with Republican legislators, hours after he allowed a $259 million tax cut bill to die without signing it because of a drafting error that he said would cost the state another $100 million.